Jedd Gyorko. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Padres Weekend Roundup: Jedd Gyorko, Starting Rotation

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! This is a new, weekly segment that will recap some of the highlights (and perhaps low-lights) of the past few days, recent trends, and other general thoughts concerning the Padres. It will be opinionated, passionate, and sometimes arguable. So I encourage all of you to comment, agree, dispute or even challenge the content and let’s get the conversation going across Padres nation!

Things We Learned: Jedd Gyorko needs to be the opening day starter at 2B.

Isn’t there a saying that goes something like, “If you can hit, they’ll find a spot to put you in the lineup”?  Well, Jedd Gyorko can hit, and he needs to find a spot in the field, specifically at 2B. He wasted no time this spring showing Bud Black and Josh Byrnes that he is ready to contribute at the major league level by hitting a grand slam in his first AB on Friday. He followed it up with a couple more RBIs on Saturday. It’s time to give him the keys to 2B and see what this highly-touted prospect can do full time.  As long as Chase Headley occupies 3B, Gyorko is blocked from playing there. Let the other 2B candidates fight over SS because, let’s be honest, none of them are that special anyway.  While Everth Cabrera did steal over 40 bags last season, he has had what has seemed like a lifetime to prove himself as an everyday player and has done virtually nothing with his plethora of opportunities except, oh yeah, been linked with a PED lab.  While Logan Forsythe is a nice player and has had some mild success over the past two seasons, he does not have nearly the upside Gyorko does. And Alexi Amarisa did have a solid 2012 with the club, but I need to see more of a sample size to be fully convinced. And hey, if he is the real deal, put him at SS, and you got yourself a pretty, darn good infield. Start Gyorko at 2B.

Other things we learned:  The back end of the starting rotation is still a huge work in progress.

The last two spots in the starting rotation are up for grabs. We know Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard, and Jason Marquis will likely be in there every fifth day, assuming all stay healthy. But until Cory Luebke and Andrew Cashner return from Tommy John surgery and a freak thumb injury, respectively, it’s anyone’s guess as to who the 4th and 5th starters will be. You also have to assume Joe Wieland won’t be ready to return to the big leagues until September at the earliest, as he continues to recover from his own Tommy John surgery. It very well could be a rotation-by-committee type of situation. Is Casey Kelly ready to step into a full time role? Anthony Bass has been solid as both a reliever and spot starter, but can he pitch every fifth day? The Padres acquired Tyson Ross over the off-season from the Oakland A’s (basically the only move the organization made), but can he really be counted on as a consistent arm in the rotation? Freddy Garcia looked less than stellar in his first start of the spring on Sunday, giving up four earned runs, five runs total, on five hits and a HBP . Perhaps as spring training continues, any one of these guys will step up, but as of now the Padres clearly have some holes to fill in the rotation.


Should Jedd Gyorko be the starting 2B on opening day?

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Tags: Casey Kelly Clayton Richard Everth Cabrera Jedd Gyorko San Diego Padres

  • Josh

    Yeah, you need a 4th and 5th starter, and then you also need to have a 6th and 7th in mind because you know there will be injuries and ineffectiveness. The back-end of the rotation is going to be highly questionable at best. Could get ugly there. And let’s be honest, if Jason Marquis is your 3, then yikes.

  • Keegan Tatum

    Gyorko looks great thus far, but it’s only been a few days. He hasn’t seen pitchers going at maximum effort. It’s difficult (I know from experience), but we can become over-zealous. We need to be patient and see how the young infielder does throughout March. It may be a good decision to keep him in the minors until the organization pushes back Gyorko’s arbitration eligibility. We root for the poorest organization in baseball that likely, and unfortunately, isn’t going anywhere this year.

  • Richie Smith

    Hi guys- thanks for the comments!

    Josh- fortunately I think the Padres do have some capable guys to fill in the rotation if starters get hurt, but I’m not sure any of them are ready to become staples in the rotation yet. Hopefully Cashner can come back quickly and get back in shape to fill one of those spots.

    Keegan- I think they need to play him at the major league level from day 1 and here’s why. You know the organization is trying to figure out if they are going to sign Headley to a long-term contract. How are they supposed to make that determination if Headley’s replacement hasn’t been tested at the MLB level yet? If Gyorko comes in and he’s hitting .220 with a million strike outs the first three months, maybe it changes the way they deal with Headley long term. On the other hand, if Gyorko is raking and wants to play at his traditional position, 3B, the Padres might be more inclined to trade Headley, knowing they have a MLB ready replacement.

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