Pinch-hitters doing their jobs in a big way

Pinch-hitters doing their jobs in a big way

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Diego manager Bud Black sounded a little bit surprised on Saturday when he was told by a reporter that his pinch-hitters were hitting .419 with 13 hits in 21 games.

"That's pretty damned good," Black said. "If you project that out over a season, I'll take that right now. It used to be if you go 1-for-4 as a pinch-hitter, then that was pretty good."

The Padres saw their top pinch-hitter, Jeremy Hermida, go on the disabled list on Saturday with a strained left adductor and hip flexor. Hermida has four pinch-hits thus far, although Jesus Guzman (three), Chris Denorfia (two), Mark Kotsay (two), Yonder Alonso (one) and Andy Parrino (one) have contributed as well.

"It's a good start for our guys," Black said.

One of the biggest areas the Padres wanted to address in the offseason was beefing up the bench to give Black more options -- offensively and defensively.

A year ago, Padres pinch-hitters hit .161 with 38 hits.