Blash shows patience in big league debut

Rookie Rule 5 pick takes a walk against Dodgers

Blash shows patience in big league debut

SAN DIEGO -- Jabari Blash didn't even record an official at-bat in his Major League debut on Monday night, as he walked in his lone plate appearance. But in the eyes of Padres manager Andy Green, there was a lot to learn about Blash as a player from that first plate appearance -- uneventful as it may have seemed.

Blash entered Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Dodgers as a pinch-hitter and grounded out.

Blash laid off a 3-2 fastball, after taking four of the first five pitches he saw. For a rookie stepping into the batter's box for the first time in a big league game, Blash showed poise beyond his years, according to Green.

"He's definitely even-keel," Green said. "He's got a slow heartbeat. He doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. I know my first at-bat in the big leagues, I wasn't as even-keel as he was."

"That might bode well," Green added with a wry smile. "Because I clearly wasn't a very good player. The future's brighter for him."

If you're a fan of the true outcomes -- home runs, strikeouts and walks -- Blash, a Rule 5 pick and the club's No. 16 prospect, is your guy. Much has been made about his power -- he homered 32 times in 476 Minor League plate appearances last season. Just as much has been made about his high strikeout rate -- 37 percent in Spring Training.

Blash's patience, however, often gets left out of the conversation. He walked eight times this spring, second on the club, behind only Wil Myers.

Of course, it would have been understandable for a rookie like Blash to abandon that patience, antsy to record his first hit and drive in a run.

"It wasn't easy," Blash said with a smile. "I had my first (potential) RBI standing there on third base."

Blash figures to get most of his at-bats initially as a pinch-hitter. It's a role he's never held before, but one he's looking to embrace.

"There's a lot of guys here that have had experience with that, so the knowledge is there for me to get," Blash said. "Just knowing myself, when to get up, when to get ready -- I always [need to] be ready for that pinch-hitting situation until I get in the ballgame."

Padres bring brown back

The Padres debuted throwback brown uniforms for Tuesday night's game against the Dodgers. The club will wear the brown for every Friday night home game this season.

"It's going to be fun tonight," Green said. "I saw the uniforms hanging, they looked really good. We'll get out there and make brown work for us."

On Wednesday the Padres unveil their new-look camouflage uniforms set to be worn for all Sunday home games.

Rea's relief outing an anomaly

No. 5 starter Colin Rea's appearance in Monday's opener is not a sign of things to come under Green. The Padres skipper does not anticipate making his starters available out of the bullpen in the future.

Monday was a unique case. The game had already been decided when Rea entered, so Green's goal was to preserve his relief corps. Plus, Rea hadn't pitched in game action since March 29, and his relief appearance -- the first of his career -- kept him fresh and coincided with his scheduled throw day anyway.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.