Not just because he was the main return on the Matt Kemp trade to the Padres, but because he offers the most potential to make up for the power loss of Hanley Ramirez and Kemp. The two combined to hit 38 home runs and drive in 160 runs last season.
Grandal hit 15 home runs and had 49 RBIs last season for the Padres, but in only 377 at-bats. Plus, he’s 26 and just entering his prime.
The switch-hitter showed his hoped-for power Saturday in the Dodgers’ 5-5 tie with the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.
Grandal went three for three Saturday, driving in three on a solo home run and another drive that went off the wall and missed being his second home run of the afternoon by a few feet.
This all came one day after catcher A.J. Ellis hit a three-run homer. This two-headed catcher routine won’t work itself out for awhile, but very early it’s looking like a good thing.
In his first three games, Grandal is batting .500 (four for eight).
Grandal looked like he had the Dodgers off to an easy win Saturday, but minor-league right-hander Matt Shelton gave up four runs on a pair of home runs in the bottom of the ninth. The game was called at the completion of the ninth, the Dodgers out of pitchers.
Left-fielder Carl Crawford left the game in the fourth inning after fouling a ball off his left shin. It swelled, but Crawford told reporters it had gone done after icing and he was not overly concerned.
On the pitching side, right-hander Chad Gaudin threw two strong innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Gaudin is one of those trying to line himself up to be called when a starter in the rotation goes down to injury.
Taiwan’s Chin-hui Tsao also made good on his first spring appearance. Tsao, who last pitched in the majors in 2007, threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out three.