Learning the hard way …
CINCINNATI — No one ever said that this Major League stuff would be easy, as several rookies on the Padres roster are learning — sometimes the hard way — this season.
Rookie catcher Luke Carlin, with the Padres only because Michael Barrett and Josh Bard are on the disabled, threw a ball away in the ninth inning against the Cardinals that led to a 9-5 St. Louis victory.
In short, with a runner on first, one out and the pitcher up showing bunt, Carlin should have held onto the ball. He said that much Monday when I talked to him here in Cincinnati. As manager Bud Black said, Carlin will be better off for it in the long run.
In the short term, though, the Padres, who entered play Monday with a 37-62 record, have to live with the occasional not-so-pleasant results.
Black made a good point Monday when he talked about the relative lack of Major League service time of position players other than Brian Giles. Khalil Greene is in his fifth full season but guys like Carlin and rookies Nick Hundley, Chase Headley and Edgar Gonzalez, as well as guys with still limited experience (Jody Gerut, Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff).
“There’s a learning curve with how to get things done at this level. There is a difference between the majors and minors in how to win a ballgame. These guys are learning how to do that,” Black said.
“Sometimes it’s at the expense of some hard knocks. But they’ll be better off for it if they can hold their head up and fight through this. Luke Carlin will be better off for what happened yesterday. These guys are getting an opportunity to show what they can do at the big league level.”