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Buster Blogs Adrian

ESPN’s Buster Olney had some kudos on Adrian Gonzalez in today’s blog entry:

Looks like Adrian Gonzalez is entrenched as the Padres first baseman for good. Ryan Klesko, battling a bad shoulder, is going to Arizona this week to try to play in some extended spring games, and if he cannot bounce back, Klesko may have surgery that could sideline him for at least half of the season.

The Padres are undoubtedly a better team with Gonzalez in the lineup, because of his defense and his ability to put the ball in play. What makes the National League so interesting this year is that with such a collection of mediocrity, the sudden rise of one or two players could lift a team into position to challenge for the league title.

Maybe Gonzalez will be that kind of player for the Padres, who already are improved defensively and may be vastly improved once Mike Cameron returns to the lineup.

Also, Rich Aurilia had a good game at first base today – on the RoadRunner reserve squad.

Aurilia had a big day in his first career start at first base, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI as the Reds beat the Cubs 8-6. Aurilia will play all over the infield this year, including at first, where he had played just three innings in his whole career before Wednesday’s start. Aurilia hit cleanup today against left-handed Glendon Rusch. He should play over Scott Hatteberg against all lefties, and he might also prove to be the superior option against right-handers.  (from Rotoworld and Rotowire)

What’s nice is that both Adrian Gonzalez and Rich Aurilia were acquired in the draft for a total of $6 ($5 for Gonzalez, $1 for Aurilia).  Their purchases were really targeted as being players that would be worthwhile subs, as they were originally going to sit with the expected promotions of Prince Fielder for Gonzalez, and Ryan Zimmerman for Aurilia.  While Adam Dunn‘s move back to the outfield gives one of them an everyday roster spot, I must say that I’m pleased with these two acquisitions thus far (as of Day 3).