That was my poor attempt at humor and an unfair shot at Padre fans, but they really do have Hawpe to replace Gonzalez at first in 2011.
The Padres signed Hawpe to a one-year contract on Friday. Terms of the deal haven’t been announced yet, as Hawpe still needs to pass his pre-signing physical in order for the deal to go through. Terms will most likely be announced today.
Hawpe is an interesting story because he went from being one of the more consistent right fielders in the National League from 2006-2009 to being released from the Colorado Rockies in 2010. Hawpe, eventually landed with the Tampa Bay Rays and hit just .179 with two HRs in 46 plate appearances.
From 2006-2009, Hawpe averaged a .288/.384/.518 slash line with 25 HRs and 33 doubles. He also was an All-Star in 2009.
Hawpe slumped to a .255 average with seven HRs in the Rockies’ first 88 games and was then subsequently released. I, for one, was really surprised when Hawpe was let go by the Rockies.
Yes, he can’t hit left-handed pitching, but I still thought he had a place on the Rockies roster.
And the spot Hawpe will be asked to fill on the Padres roster is to play first against right-handed pitching. Hawpe has always hit right-handed pitching well. For his career, Hawpe has an .890 OPS against righties.
I think Hawpe has a little left in the tank. I don’t think he is complete toast like Garrett Atkins was when he left the Rockies. My logic for that thinking is that Hawpe wasn’t completely awful for the Rockies in 2010 and he has hit fairly well away from Coors.
He has a career .839 OPS away from Coors, which isn’t too far off from his home OPS of .886
Look for him to platoon with a right-handed hitter at first for the Padres in 2011 because Hawpe is an automatic out against left-handed pitching. That right-handed hitting first baseman could be Kyle Blanks or someone like Troy Glaus.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg
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