Not to beat a dead horse, or any kind of horse, but the Matt Kemp trade has been lopsided. There’s still an awful long way to go, but for now the Matt Kemp trade is more like the Yasmani Grandal trade, and Grandal and the Dodgers couldn’t be happier. The other day on Twitter I was tipped off to an article about Grandal written by Matt Calkins. The headline: “Padres blew it with Yasmani Grandal.” It talks about Grandal’s limited playing time, and the lack of trust some Padres pitchers had in him. One paragraph stood out to me as particularly interesting:
Despite the general San Diego approach being to throw down and away, Grandal thought the power pitchers should be throwing inside in the early part of the count before using the outer half of the plate to record the out. But the veteran hurlers weren’t catching his drift, and as a result, he wasn’t catching their pitches.
Pitchers identified were Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy. Last season, Grandal didn’t catch Cashner. Ross eventually stopped throwing to him, and Kennedy did too. They preferred working with Rene Rivera. This year, the Padres pitching staff has struggled. From the bottom of the same article:
San Diego’s pitching, however, has disappointed, and Grandal can’t help but wonder if that would be the case had his advice been heeded.
On the one hand, this doesn’t really matter. Grandal isn’t in San Diego anymore, so everyone just ought to move on. But on the other hand, this can be an interesting thing to investigate. So let’s talk about what Grandal talked about.