How can the San Diego Padres solve their Trent Grisham problem?

Sep 25, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres center fielder Trent Grisham (2) reacts to a called third strike against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres center fielder Trent Grisham (2) reacts to a called third strike against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a lot to like about the changes made by the San Diego Padres last offseason. Each hire and acquisition have contributed to a successful first half of the 2022 season.

However, one problem that has not been solved is the Padres’ offensive struggles. The bottom of the batting order has not contributed as they hoped. The lack of production from Trent Grisham and others has been a problem for far too long.

Grisham’s Offensive Struggles Are Well-Documented

Grisham is an outstanding defensive center fielder, but his offensive warts are visible. Grisham is a far cry from the player he was in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. That year, Grisham hit .251 with 10 HRs, 26 RBIs, and 42 runs scored in 59 games. He walked over 12 percent of his plate appearances and had a 2.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) ratio. All are impressive statistical numbers for a player in his first full major league season.

His struggles began in the second half after last year’s All-Star break. He batted .211 with 4 HRs and 26 RBIs for the final 2 ½ months of the season. Currently, Grisham is batting .193 as his extra base hits total (20) is nearly half of his total hits (52). At this current rate of production, it is hard to make a convincing argument about keeping Grisham as the everyday center fielder.

What is The Friars’ Next Move?

The Friars are in a midst of a tough stretch in the schedule as they’re 5-9 in their last 14 games. The lack of production with runners in scoring position has made it clear that the lineup needs help.

Now, the question becomes what to do with Grisham? Well, his contract does not prevent the Padres from sending Grisham to the minors. He has minor league options available. The move would give Grisham time to regain his stroke. If not, the Friars can keep him on the bench as a pinch-runner and extra outfielder. But Grisham’s glove cannot keep him in the lineup any longer.

Tatis Jr. Could Be an In-House Replacement Option

So, who should replace Grisham in the lineup? The hottest rumor is to have Fernando Tatis Jr. make his season debut in center field after the All-Star break. This move would allow Padres manager Bob Melvin to use Grisham as a late-inning defensive replacement for the versatile superstar.

But with Tatis Jr. in the lineup, he should immediately kickstart the team’s struggling offense. Melvin will not be hesitant to play him every day in the outfield. He needs a solution to the Padres offensive troubles this season. The Friars would be adding a bat to the lineup at the expense of a quality glove.

Preller’s Trade Deadline Targets

Padres general manager A. J. Preller may look to acquire a permanent replacement for Grisham in the lineup. Choosing the right player could provide some separation from the competition for a postseason berth.

Pittsburgh Pirates Bryan Reynolds would be an ideal trade deadline acquisition. However, several teams will be vying for his services.

His season did not begin well as Reynolds batted .187 with 7 HRs and 12 RBIs for the first two months of the season. But he rebounded from his slow start with an outstanding month of June. Reynolds batted .333 with 8 HRs and 19 RBIs in 28 games. No question, he will be a hot commodity on the trade market later this month.

Other trade candidates include Kansas City Royals Andrew Benintendi, Chicago Cubs Ian Happ and Baltimore Orioles Anthony Santander. Presently, all three play a corner outfield position, but each has experience playing center field in the majors.

Benintendi is a pending free agent whose left-handed stroke would be ideal for Petco Park’s short porch in rightfield. Happ is having somewhat of a renaissance season. He is batting .283, which is his highest average since hitting .264 in 2019. Santander has a low average (.235) but is poised to have his best power-hitting season. Currently, he has 15 HRs and 41 RBIs and should easily surpass his career-high in home runs (20 in 2019) and RBIs (54 in 2021).

After the trade with the Milwaukee Brewers before the 2020 season, the Friar Faithful envisioned Grisham as the center fielder of the future. But that image has been tarnished by the lack of production.

Next. Will the Padres finally land Castillo?. dark

We are less than a month away from the trade deadline, and the San Diego Padres need a solution to their offensive woes. Let’s see what Preller does…he always had something up his sleeve.