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Chris Denorfia called up 

Chris Denorfia, who’s contract was purchased by the Padres today. The the Padres will move Chris Young to the 60-day DL to make room for Denorfia on their 40-man roster. Chris Denorfia has been impressive this year, with a solid line of 306/.368/.504 with 10 doubles 4 triples and 2 Hr’s with 12 RBI with AAA Portland this year. A former prospect in the Reds organization that has had Tommy J Surgery had fallen off the map mainly because to injuries, not production. “The timing for Denorfia certainly couldn’t have been worse. In 2006, he was rated as the Reds’ fifth-best prospect by Baseball America. He hit .349 with Triple-A Louisville that season and earned a promotion to the Reds, where he hit .283 in 106 at-bats.”

Chris Denorfia is not exactly some slouch, Chris is just not regarded very highly because of injuries and not having any real exceptional tools, he is just an all around good ball player that is finding his way back at 29. He is not exactly a “journeyman.” Chris Denorfia, “plays as hard as anyone on the field.” AZF League watch, had to say about him in 05.

The 29 year old Denorfia hit .271 last year with nine home runs and 49 RBIs playing for Triple A Sacramento. Denorfia signed a Minor League deal with the Padres in January.

In spring training he really was impressing, hitting well over .300, showing speed. some pop, getting extra base hits and stealing bags. The kind of play that the Padres new GM Jed Hoyer wanted to implement his philosophy “Playing Petco into an advantage”. “He’s shown very well in this camp. A number of years ago, he was on everyone’s radar. He was a good-looking young player, good defender, speed and swung the bat,” manager Bud Black said. “His career was derailed by the Tommy John. He does a lot of very good things on the field. He’s a complete player.”

“More than anything this spring, I want to introduce myself to the organization, and show what I can do, and hopefully they’ll decide that I can help,” Denorfia said.”

Well, Denorfia well get just that chance now with Scott Hairston going on the 15 day DL and Denorfia being added to the 40 man roster placing the injury riddled Chris Young on the 60 day DL. With the recent injuries and an already struggling outfield of “key players”, Kyle Blanks, Will Venable and Tony Gwynn Jr., Denorfia has a chance to show the Padres if he belongs at the big league level. I would imagine that it may have just given Kyle Blanks another 15 or so days to show his worth as well, if not we could be looking at one of several moves in 2 weeks if Denorfia outplays Tony Gwynn Jr. Could you stick with Denorfia in center-field?

Tony Gwynn Jr. .202/ .317/ .281 with 1 HR and has also stolen 8 stolen bases while being gunned down only twice but also for a lead off hitter has 18 K’s. Tony’s defense is his real asset.

Both Blanks and Venable were keys to this year, both showing promise and Kyle being one of the better prospects in baseball coming up.

Kyle Blanks .162/ .284/ .333 3 HR’s/14 RBI with a staggering amount of strikeouts, a whopping 44 in 95 Ab’s.

Will Venable .220/ .295/ .413 with 4 HR’s and 13 RBI however has not been caught stealing this season, 9 for 9.

Over four seasons in MLB Tony Gwynn Jr. has a line of .261/ .331/ .336 in 249 Ab’s. Denorfia, .279/ .356/ .380 in 100 Ab’s sure smaller sample size.

Denorfia’s minor league AVG is also almost 20 points higher. Tony Gwynn Jr. has also never been a standout hitter on ANY level, even in the minors. Tony ONLY hit over 300 ONCE in the minors in ONLY 38 games in 09 and JUST touched 300 on the dot in 06. Denorfia has hit over .300 5 times. When I look at the Padres outfield, while I love TGJ and his exceptional defense, I see him being the long term weakest link because he strikes out too much for the type of player he is, in the lead off role, he is not a good bunter with no power. I have to imagine Durango or Cunningham could surpass Gwynn at some point if the Padres outfield anemic offense continuous. Gwynn Jr. IMO is still a 4th outfielder.

I think Padre fans will be surprised by Denorfia and his hard nose style of play.