April players of the month
Hitter of the month:
C – Derek Norris
April totals: 313/329/463 – 1 HR, 9 2B, 11 RBI
Wonderfully difficult is the best way to describe the selection process in April. One could easily have chosen Matt Kemp, Yangervis Solarte, Will Myers or Justin Upton. Each led the team in their own category (Kemp: RBI – Solarte: OBP – Myers: runs – Upton: HR) but the choice here will be the Padres’ doubles machine. Not only has Derek Norris been better than advertised defensively (he has a positive dWAR right now) but he has been even better at the plate. Norris is tied for the team lead in extra base hits, he as the 2nd fewest strikeouts among regular starters and he is fourth on the team in runs. Granted, he doesn’t lead in the flashy numbers like HR or RBI, but he has already compiled a 1.1 WAR due to the fact he is producing at a high level from a position that is not usually offensively oriented.
Pitcher of the month:
RHP – Brandon Morrow
April totals: 1-0, 2.67 ERA, 1.04 WHIP,
Welcome to the twilight zone. First the first time in recent memory Padre pitching took the role of anchor dragging down the ship. Finding an effective pitcher proved difficult; ultimately the runner-up (James Shields) was solid, but unspectacular. However, Brandon Morrow was more efficient and provided the team with slightly more value. Morrow leads the starters in innings per start (6 2/3), runs allowed (8), home runs allowed (2) and walks allowed (6). He is also throwing the fewest pitches per inning, which might be why he is working farther into games than his fellow starters. Morrow also allowed 2 runs or fewer in each start, except the one in Colorado (which can be forgiven to a degree since it is Colorado). Not bad for the guy dubbed the team’s number 5 starter.