Slumping Iguchi gets day off Friday
Second baseman on bench in midst of 4-for-41 skid at plate
SAN DIEGO -- Slumping Padres second baseman Tadahito Iguchi was not in the starting lineup on Friday as the Padres played the first of three games at PETCO Park against the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
Iguchi, mired in a 4-for-41 slump, was replaced in the lineup by Callix Crabbe, who had a double and a walk in three at-bats on April 20 against Arizona pitcher Randy Johnson, who got the start on Friday.
Iguchi, who was hitting .313 on April 11, entered Friday's game hitting .213. But looks are somewhat deceiving, as Iguchi has 10 walks in that stretch along with a not-alarming number of strikeouts (eight).
"He got off to a nice start for us and things have gone the other way," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He doesn't seem to be having an abundance of bad at-bats. He is still drawing his walks, still seeing pitches. He's just not squaring them up."
Iguchi has been taking early practice for the past week with hitting coach Wally Joyner and feels that he's close to getting back to having the same consistent swing that he had earlier this month.
"I'm seeing the ball really well, which has led to the walks. I'm putting the ball in play," Iguchi said through interpreter David Yamamoto. "I'm feeling a lot better. I think things will turn around soon."
Black appreciates the extra work that Iguchi, who has had hits in the last two games, has put in to find the swing that has made him a career .272 hitter.
"It looks as though he's taking good swings, but in this little stretch here he has not been productive," Black said. "It's not from lack of work ... extra BP, looking at video and working with Wally in the cage. It's not like he's totally lost."
Iguchi pointed to some timing issues as the plate for part of his struggles, something he has worked with Joyner on in recent days.
"During the season, I'm not going to start implementing new things," Iguchi said. "It's more trying to correct certain aspects of my swing, work on my timing. I'm doing a lot better with it [timing]."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.