Padres Roster–Ready–Good Enough?”
Bring on the 2019 National League season.
Say goodbye to 2018 and put that (66-96) record in the rear view mirror.
The Padres are ready for the Giants on Thursday as the four game season opens the schedule. The bigger question is whether the roster is ready for the season.
A look at the lineup.
ERIC HOSMER….That’s a lot of money (23M) to pya for a singles hitter who hits an occasion home run. He gives you a near Gold Glove performance on defense. Maybe last year was an aberration, moving to a new team, new league, but then he followed that with a (.250) spring training. He’s better than that, at least has been in the past.
IAN KINSLER…Ex-Red Sox multi-position player, who had a solid spring (.364) with some power. Will be the starting second baseman, and maybe becomes a vocal leader on what has been a fractured clubhouse. Seems like a good acquisition, from talent standpoint and chemistry-clubhouse angle too..
FERNANDO TATIS….He made his way onto the roster with his glove and his base running, not necessarily his (.250) spring training average. The most impressive thing about him, is not just skill, but attitude. In each of the past two years, he has had slows starts, then made adjustments and really posted great minor league numbers. We’ll see how he holds up against major league pitching. If he gets overwhelmed, you can let him go back to El Paso and play, but he earned this.
MANNY MACHADO…What skill, with bat and glove, and when you consider the monster numbers he put up in a horrid situation with the Baltimore Orioles, you are even more impressed. Only time will tell whether he wants to be a leader, or just an independent contractor. Some will say he is a dirty player, based on what he did in the postseason during the playoffs with the Dodgers. They need him to do lots of things, including pull together the Latin influence in the clubhouse. History says a really good bat in the lineup akes everyone around him in the batting order better. Let’s see if that helps the rest of the Padres lineup.
HUNTER RENFROE….He had a breakout season last year, but has moved around, right to left back to right. Surprised at the poor spring (.184), and the big question whether he needs to play everyday to stay sharp, and whether he needs to be a one position player?.
WIL MYERS….They gave him lots of money two winters ago, and haven’t really gotten value in return. It’s almost as if he is a man without a position. Where is the player who captured our fancy two summers ago, and slugged his way into the All Star game at Petco Park. He hasn’t been the same player since Matt Kemp was traded away. And now three years into his career here, we still don’t know if he has a true position to play. This is a puzzle. Staying free of nagging injuries would help..
MANNY MARGOT…A strong spring, now they need a good start to the season. He did it in 2017, and was a disappointment in 2018. If he’s not playing everyday, then it’s because he lost the job. The (.304) spring training stats were good.
FRANMIL REYES….A strong second half, followed up by a solid (.324) Cactus League from a guy who was out there on the open market two winters ago. Is he a better defensive player than last summer? We shall find out. He looks in better shape. Full-time or platoon-we await that answer too?
TRAVIS JANKOWKSI….Tough break losing him for 3-month with the fractured wrist. A pigpen type player, uniform always dirty, creating runs when on base, chasing-diving for flyballs, stealing bases. Tough setback for him and his team.
FRANCHY CORDEGO….Big, lanky, aggressive, very quick wrists swinging the bat. Lots of ingredients, but yet to find the recipe for success in the majors. You see spurts and say wow, then you see strikeouts and a low batting average and worse on base percentage, and say ut-oh, too many holes in his game. Same story this spring. Lots of questions to be answered..
AUSTIN HEDGES…You know his value working with the pitching staff. We’ll see if his offensive metric can stay consistent going forward. Rock solid player, if not always a complete player, because of his bat.
FRANCISCO MEJIA….He can hit, but can he do all the things you need done behind the dish. He hit his way onto the roster, but the big question, better served to sit and learn from Hedges, or play everyday in El Paso? We’ll see what the first month of his season is like..
JOSE PIRELA…Professional bat, can wear different gloves, though he’s not hear because of defense. Everyone needs a utility man.
GREG GARCIA….A journeyman who has been good enough to stick around and be ready if someone needs a day off or someone gets hurt