Hundley throwing out runners at high rate

Hundley throwing out runners at high rate

Hundley throwing out runners at high rate
SAN DIEGO -- There's no question that Padres catcher Nick Hundley has had a tough time offensively this season, as he entered Wednesday's game against the Rangers with a .169 average.

But one thing is for certain: Hundley's defense hasn't suffered because of the offensive woes that he's having.

No catcher in the Major Leagues has thrown out as many baserunners as Hundley, who has nabbed 18 of the 65 would-be basestealers for a 27.7 percent success rate.

Hundley credits two aspects of his defensive game for this, points of emphasis that he's worked hard on since the beginning of Spring Training, when he paired off with former Major League catcher and team special assistant Brad Ausmus.

"The biggest think is that I'm letting the ball come to me and absorbing it ... instead of going out and getting it," Hundley said. "That's something I worked a lot with Brad on."

The other change meant altering his pregame routine where he used to warm up at varying distances in the outfield with that day's starting pitcher before heading to the bullpen. Now, Hundley is doing much more long toss before games with bullpen catcher Justin Hatcher.

"I'm keeping my arm in better shape. This way I make sure that my arm is strong and loose," Hundley said. "That way, I'm doing the same thing every day. It's helped."

Last season, Hundley threw out a career-high 24 would-be base stealers. He's already far ahead of that pace this season.

"My arm feels great," he said.