Kyle Blanks is not in the lineup today against lefty Jonathan Sanchez. For about a week, he was improperly platooned against only lefties, and then he appeared to be given his starting job back, starting against righties Chad Billingsley and Matt Cain on back-to-back days. The injury to other left fielder Scott Hairston seemed to cement Blanks’ job.
Tonight’s outfield is Oscar Salazar, Chris Denorfia, and Jerry Hairston.
The question now is if Bud Black finally got the message that Blanks is better against righties, or if this is just a benching due to his 6-for-62 slump?
I wouldn’t get overly optimistic, but whether the reasoning is right or not, the result is at least what should be happening. A strikeout-prone guy like Blanks who struggles against lefties has no business playing against a lefty strikeout pitcher right now.
If the benching is for the slump, and Black still is operating with the idea Blanks is better against lefties, that means we’re on the verge of seeing him go to the minors. Mike Baxter or Luis Durango would be the two guys likely to replace him. Baxter recently broke out of a slump of his own, and is now at .287/.400/.485. Durango is batting a weaker .296/.371/.311, but he’s on the 40-man roster, while Baxter is not.