Sep 8 12:00p
Grandal has used starts at first base to strengthen his surgically-repaired right knee, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Regarding his normal position, catcher, he said, "It got to a point when I went past the halfway mark this year, I was doing pretty good but my legs just started getting tired. That might've been one of the reasons I went to first a little bit more. So far, I'm happy with where I'm at. It's just another stepping stone."
Entering Monday's game, Grandal has taken on first base in seven of his last nine appearances, as Rene Rivera continues to garner most of the starts at catcher when one of the Padres' big three (Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy, and Tyson Ross) toes the rubber. A surprising development is their respective years at the plate. Rivera has been far more consistent, hitting .248/.316/.420, while Grandal has belted a career-best 11 homers opposite a dismal .209/.304/.361 line. Although their division of time behind the plate is warranted, Grandal intends to return to everyday duty as a backstop during winter ball in the Dominican Republic. If all goes well, the Padres' competition at catcher will be one of the more intriguing battles of spring training 2015, especially if top prospect, Austin Hedges, is given an opportunity to stick with the big club during camp.