Zawadzki Does His Job
Shortstop answers the call to the big leagues
SAN DIEGO—Terry Kennedy was right.
At the end of last season, the catcher who helped lead the Padres to the 1984 National League pennant and managed the Padres' Double-A club in San Antonio in 2009, predicted infielder Lance Zawadzki would play in the big leagues. No one, however, thought Zawadzki's rise to the big leagues would come a month into the 2010 season and after the 2007 fourth-round draft pick out of Lee hit .162 at Triple-A Portland.
But when shortstop Evereth Cabrera went on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring on April 30, Zawadzki got the call.
And while he was hitting just .182/.357/.273 in 11 at-bats when he was sent back to Portland, he proved he was more than capable.
"Lance did exactly what we asked," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He played good defense. He showed us a little speed, and he was a tough out."
Zawadzki started three games at second base and one at shortstop in his first big league stay. He doubled against the Giants on May 13 and scored the only run in a 1-0 win. And he walked as pinch-hitter against the Brewers on May 4 and scored the game-winning run on Chase Headley's walkoff single.
"This was everything I thought and more," Zawadzki said of his first big league experience. "The guys accepted me with open arms, welcomed me into the clubhouse. And that helped a lot. I'm not hitting the way I know I can—either at Portland or here—but I know I can hit. I think I showed I can play here. I think I showed them that if they need a guy, I can do the job."
Black got an extended look at Zawadzki in Arizona.
"That helped," Black said. "I like to see as many of the young guys as a I can. And the guys who are close to the big leagues, like Lance, I like to give them some starts, put them in some stressful situations in case we need to call on them sometime during the season."
• Second baseman Matt Antonelli, who had a great spring after two rough minor league seasons, was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a fractured left hook of the hamate bone.
• Lefthander Cesar Ramos was recalled in mid-May when Tim Stauffer underwent an emergency appendectomy. The Padres planned to use him as a long man out of the bullpen.