June 25, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (12) reacts to a called strike three by home plate umpire Ed Hickox (left) during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal could be ready for opening day

When we last checked in with former top prospect Yasmani Grandal, it was widely expected that he would land on the disabled list at the start of the 2014 season. After all, Grandal underwent ACL surgery in August, and the San Diego Padres were expected to take great care with one of their more talented players. However, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune unearthed some information concerning Grandal’s return date.

This is the quote from Padres general manager Josh Byrnes:

“He says he feels good and he certainly looks good. Opening Day is possible for him. But that day simply starts a six or seven-month process. We have to hold him back somewhat during spring training even if he feels 100 percent. We will monitor him during spring training.”

Frankly, getting Grandal back for Opening Day would be a huge win for a San Diego team that is largely void of offensive talent. The 25-year-old backstop is probably best known for his PED suspension at this point, but prior to that, he posted an .863 OPS in 226 plate appearances during the 2012 season, and his bat profiles in a way that he could be considered a future All-Star at the position.

It will be interesting to see just how careful the organization is in pushing Grandal along, but when the alternative is Nick Hundley (and his .290 OBP), it brings some urgency to the table.

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