Padres pregame: Adam Frazier into three-hole vs. Giants' bullpen game
Whether or not it was a reluctant move, the Padres had a shortstop in waiting in Fernando Tatis Jr. and his balky shoulder when Jake Cronenworth fractured his left ring finger over the weekend in Los Angeles. They will, however, try a new three-hole hitter Monday night in San Francisco (6:45 p.m., BSSD) after getting shut out three times in five games last week:
Adam Frazier .
It may be an odd choice as Frazier has not started in the three-hole all year, is slugging .406 on the season and hitting just .234/.401/.274 in 38 games with the Padres, but the offense was slumping before Cronenworth’s injury.
Over the last 27 games, the Padres are hitting .202/.289/.337 with just 24 homers.
Frazier had shown signs of rounding into form, going 6-for-14 with a double and three RBIs, but he was 0-for-6 and hit by a pitch the last two days at Dodger Stadium, games started by Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer .
He was not alone in his struggles.
The Padres hit .158/.208/.242 this weekend against the Dodgers and scored just four runs — all on Saturday via hits from Manny Machado in the three-hole and Tatis in the clean-up spot.
On Monday, Tatis will hit second behind leadoff hitter Trent Grisham and Machado will bat fourth ahead of Eric Hosmer , Tommy Pham , Wil Myers and Victor Caratini , behind the plate as Yu Darvish’s personal catcher.
Frazier’s inclusion in the three-spot in place of Cronenworth allows the Padres to alternate lefties and righties through the first six spots in the order against the Giants’ planned bullpen game.
Darvish (8-9, 3.95 ERA) allowed one run and struck out seven over six innings on Wednesday against the Angels, his first win since June 21. The Padres went 3-7 in his starts during that span (6.84 ERA). Darvish has allowed two runs in 12 1/3 innings this year against the Giants.
Here is how the Giants’ current hitters have fared against Darvish:
The Giants, who are without both Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto , will counter with a bullpen game started by right-hander Dominic Leone (3-3, 1.48 ERA). Leone will be making his third start and 46 th appearance overall, although he has not topped more than two innings in any of his trips to the mound this year.
Machado, who is 1-for-10 with a walk and two strikeouts, is the only Padre with more than four plate appearances against Leone.
The Giants did add a bullpen arm with left-hander Jose Quintana — who has 10 strikeouts in six innings (1.50 ERA) since landing with the Giants — coming off the paternity list.
Ex-USD star Kris Bryant is not in the Giants' lineup against his former Cubs teammate Darvish:
This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .