Kyle Blanks is back on the DL, and it looks like he'll be there for a long time. He missed time in spring training and only had five at bats this season, and he'll be undergoing season-ending surgery to "repair a significant tear in the labrum," according to the team's website.
Blanks was chosen by the Pads in the 46th round of the 2004 draft, and was one of the Padres highly touted prospects, although he often struggled to stay healthy when he made it to the majors. He's a big guy (6'6", 270 lbs.) who has the body of a first baseman, but was put in the outfield when Adrian Gonzalez was manning that position. Watching him play, I was surprised by his speed in the field, but it was the bat that he struggled with the most, hitting .219 with 20 HR and 63 RBI in parts of four seasons (425 ABs).
I really liked Kyle, and was hoping that he'd be able to put a good start together, especially with Carlos Quentin starting the season on the DL. It looks like he's done for the year, and it's unsure how much longer the Padres are going to try to make the relationship work. His minor league stats indicate that he's on the brink (.305 AVG, 88 HR, 383 RBI over 541 games), but staying healthy and producing in Petco has been an issue.
This is Kyle's card from the 2011 Topps set, which I thought looked really cool. When I went to Spring Training this year with my brothers, we were able to get his autograph before their game in Peoria against the Royals, and he seemed like a super nice, quiet guy. Not sure why he signed so close to the Rawlings logo though! I'm pulling for him to recover quickly and be back on the squad for next season. Good luck Kyle!