With catcher Yasmani Grandal tearing up the PCL in Tucson and former UA star Nick Hundley struggling mightily in San Diego, it was just a matter of time before the two traded places.
The Padres made that move Saturday, recalling Grandal - he became the first player in MLB history whose first two career hits were switch home runs against Colorado on Saturday - and Hundley is expected to arrive in Tucson today and assume the role of everyday catcher.
Hundley's .166 average, .226 on-base percentage and .259 slugging percentage are all career-worst numbers. Defensively, he had thrown out a major-league-leading 25 base runners before the demotion but had also allowed a league-high 54 stolen bases.
The Tucson coaching staff will be tasked with finding a way to get Hundley out of his season-long slump.
"We'll sit down and talk and see where he's at and what he wants to do," hitting coach Bob Skube said. "It's not that big a deal, really. We'll just be working on it on the side and taking it into the games and see how he does."
Skube said Hundley's slump is the sort of thing that can be snapped by stringing a few good at-bats together, and that it's just a matter of him being able to "take a deep breath, backing up a little bit and knowing some things he needs to get back to."
Beating the heat
Saturday marked the 20th straight day temperatures reached at least 100 degrees in Tucson, and the Padres have taken notice of the searing heat.
They've taken pregame batting practice on the field just once in the last four days, and manager Terry Kennedy said he'll limit how much time the team spends on the field before games.
"The weather was pretty good here in April and May, and we got a lot of work on the field done then," Kennedy said. "But now we've got to take it easy on them.
"If they have a routine, they'll be able to keep doing it. But as far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to go out on the field unless I see a collapse in defense."
Padres infielder Andy Parrino said the coaches and training staff are both good about keeping players hydrated and keeping them out of the heat when possible, but it's ultimately up to the players to take care of themselves.
"Everybody by this time in their career knows their boundaries," Parrino said. "It's tough, but it's the same for each team. Everybody's going through the same thing."