6/16/2013 8:18 P.M. ET
Grandal starting to turn focus toward improving defense
By Scott Bair / Special to MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Yasmani Grandal has had trouble sleeping. Instead of wasting time staring at the ceiling or watching late-night TV, the Padres catcher routinely reviews scouting DVDs on his next opponent. He logs a few hours a night in front of his flat screen, looking for clues to get the other team out.
The extra work in the video room, enhanced by an offseason's worth of catching drills, has turned Grandal into a standout defensive player. The same couldn't be said last season, when he was in the lineup for his bat as opposed to his glove.
"I didn't like the way I played defensively last season," Grandal said. "This offseason, I made a point to make catching come first and let the hitting run its course."
That's why he spends so much time watching video. That's why he spent significant time on catching drills this offseason. He wanted to change his reputation as a purely offensive catcher. He wanted to be a complete player.
Since he couldn't swing a bat this offseason with strained ligaments in his left middle finger, Grandal didn't have a choice.
"I would spend 2-3 hours a day on different elements of the position, and I believe it helped me grow as a defensive player," Grandal said. "There are times when I'm at home and I can't sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning, and that's when I break down the video. That's the most productive use of my down time, because being a good defensive catcher is my number one responsibility."
His hard work has been recognized. The Padres starting rotation lauded Grandal's work and spoke highly of his commitment to catching. That's been proven in the win column too. The Padres are 10-3 in games he's started behind the plate, a short stint after serving a 50-game suspension for violating MLB's policy on performance enhancing drugs.
While Grandal has struggled offensively in that span -- he's hitting just .191 with three extra-base hits -- manager Bud Black has been impressed by his ability to separate offense from defense.
"He's been able to separate the offense from his defense," Black said. "His bat has gotten off to a slow start, but he hasn't let that affect his job behind the plate. His game calling has been outstanding, and he always seems to be in sync with the catcher. That's a big pat on the back to him."
Grandal did a little bit of everything on Saturday night. He called a quality start for Jason Marquis, and supported him with a three-run home run in the fourth inning.
"I've been making good swings, but I don't think the ball had been traveling as far," Grandal said. "When I made good contact, it seemed to be right at someone. I knew that it would turn eventually, and it was a relief to have it work out last night."
Forsythe reflects on first start in outfield
SAN DIEGO -- Logan Forsythe's second professional catch as an outfielder was a difficult one.
Arizona shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a slicing drive that tailed toward the left-field line Saturday night, and Forsythe set out in a dead sprint. He didn't have time to be nervous about making a play, but one thought stuck with him as he tracked the ball down.
"I was hoping I wouldn't have to dive," Forsythe said. "But, the longer I ran, the more I braced myself for the opportunity."
Forsythe went horizontal, and made a highlight-worthy catch. Not bad for his first outfield foray.
The utility infielder is swinging a hot bat, and was asked to played the outfield to keep him in the lineup. Forsythe received high marks for his efforts at a position he hadn't played as a professional.
"I thought Logan did a nice job," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He looked comfortable out there because his mind is in the right spot. He's embraced the role and he wasn't tentative. He didn't worry about making mistakes. He just went out and played baseball, which is why he did so well out there on Saturday."
Playing the outfield was something Forsythe was prepared for. The possibility was broached this offseason, so Forsythe enlisted first-base coach Dave Roberts -- a standout outfielder in his playing days -- to show him how.
Forsythe fared well, and remains confident in his ability to perform when called upon.
"Repetitions make you comfortable, and I took mine in the offseason," he said. "The more time I spend out there, the better I'll get."
Black has made an effort to keep him in the lineup. Entering Sunday, he's hit .267 with a home run and six RBIs in five games since returning from the 60-day disabled list. He was put there with a nasty bout of plantar fasciitis that flared up this spring.
While Forsythe has primarily played second base with Jedd Gyorko on the 15-day disabled list due to a groin strain, Black said he may end up back in the outfield on occasion.
"It's possible," Black said. "We'll see how it all shakes out, but there will be days where we just want him in the lineup. The outfield gives him a chance to do that."
Cabrera injures hamstring in finale vs. D-backs
SAN DIEGO -- Sunday afternoon's 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks might end up being a big loss.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera injured his hamstring trying to steal second base in the eighth inning, an attempt that was negated by a Chase Headley foul ball. He was taken out in the ninth for Pedro Ciriaco.
The severity remains unknown. He will travel with the team to San Francisco and undergo tests to reach a formal diagnosis.
"We don't know if it's a pull, a strain or a pretty severe cramp," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He felt a little something, but he continued through the inning. When he got back to the dugout, he was in a little bit of pain. There's some soreness there, and we'll evaluate it further."
Cabrera had the muscle iced after the game and was upset with the injury.
"I knew something was wrong right away," Cabrera said. "I have experience with hamstring problems, and this one is unfortuante. They didn't say exactly what the injury was. Right now, everything feels fine. We'll have to wait and see how it feels on Monday."
The injury is ill timed because Cabrera is on fire. He went 3-for-4 on Sunday and is hitting .305 this season while playing a quality shortstop. He's played in all 69 games this season and, to this point, Cabrera has been the Padres' best player.
"I don't want to miss any time," Cabrera said. "It's too bad that this happened."
Quentin sits again with shoulder injury
SAN DIEGO -- Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin missed his second straight game with a left shoulder injury. He hasn't been right since Friday, when he hurt himself on the follow through of a swing.
Quentin finished the game, but hasn't played since. The pain increased the following day, which prompted the Padres to hold him out.
The setback is ill timed. It interrupts a hot streak where Quentin was hitting .371 with two home runs and five RBIs in his last 10 games.
He was evaluated in depth on Sunday afternoon by Padres lead physician Heinz Hoenecke, and the Padres believe the injury won't keep their cleanup hitter out for long.
"Carlos is a little banged up and we're keeping an eye on it," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's day to day. We're cautiously optimistic that he's going to be fine."
Scott Bair is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.