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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Will LeBlanc fare well away from his primate teammate?
The Padres have strengthened their catching situation with the acquisition of John Baker from the Miami Marlins on Tuesday in exchange for pitcher Wade LeBlanc.
Baker is two-plus years removed from reconstructive elbow surgery and was limited to 31 games between the majors and minors last season. He hit .154 with one RBI for the Marlins in 13 at-bats.
But the left-handed hitting catcher averaged seven homers and 41 RBIs with a .281 average in 2008-09.
“There’s some risk because of the injury, but we examined him and we’re convinced the elbow is sound,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. “We now have three catchers and (Baker and Luis Martinez) have options.”
The Padres like Martinez, who hit .203 with 10 RBIs in 59 at-bats last season. But Baker has a stronger resume and the team feels it has good depth to back up starter Nick Hundley.
LeBlanc, a second-round pick in the 2006 amateur baseball draft, won a career-high eight games in 2010. He is 17-22 with a 4.54 ERA in 54 career games, including 52 starts.
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