Is it wise to poke a polar bear? Padres RHP Chris Paddack is about to find out.
"He's a great player, no doubt," Paddack told Dennis Lin of The Athletic about Mets rookie Pete Alonso. "Does he deserve (the Rookie of the Month honor)? Absolutely. But I'm coming for him. We'll see Monday who the top dog is. That's something I'm looking forward to, for sure. And I'm not saying that in a cocky way. I'm saying that because I know what I want, just like I'm sure he knows what he wants. It'll be a fun little matchup."
Paddack was referring above to the honor that was given to Alonso for hitting .292/.382/.642 with nine homers, five doubles, one triple, and 23 RBI in April.
While emerging in his rookie season with San Diego, Paddack had a 1.91 ERA and a very nice 0.69 WHIP while striking out 35 batters in 33 innings (six starts) in April.
And Paddack spoke about preferring to be the top dog at the end of the year instead of the end of April.
"Do I wish it was me (who received the honor)? Yeah. But the way I look at it is, do you want to be Rookie of the Month or Rookie of the Year? We'll see, man. We've got a long season and I'm looking forward to Monday, competing against him."
Paddack's comments -- though not out of line -- will add spice to Monday's series opener between the Mets and Padres that also happens to feature Jacob deGrom starting for New York. Buckle up.