Jedd Gyorko, The Starting Second Base Job, High Expectations, and How the Padres Stand to Benefit
Earlier this week, Scott Miller of CBS.Sportsline mentioned how Jedd Gyorko is “on the verge” of seizing the Padres’ starting second base job.
Gyorko could very well be San Diego’s new Second Baseman. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
If Miller’s article is indeed true, then Gyorko’s emergence would be a huge moment for the Padres’ rookie Infielder. So far, Jedd has done nothing to illustrate to the Padres that he is not worthy of the starting gig. Overall, Gyorko hit .311 with 30 home runs, 28 doubles, and 100 rbi’s between Double and Triple-A in 2012, and has already smacked 3 round-trippers and knocked in 9 runs so far this Spring.
Switching from third base to second base on a full-time basis will be no easy task though, and the Padres are sure to have high expectations for the former West Virginia Mountaineer to help to kick-start the Friars inconsistent offense (2012: 24th in Runs, 22nd in batting average, 26th in slugging percentage) as early as possible.
As far as where he can help the team the most as a hitter, I for one believe that Jedd would be a tremendous fit in the #2 spot in the Friars’ batting order. If one of San Diego’s projected leadoff men like Will Venable, Chris Denorfia, or Everth Cabrera are able to get on base consistently, Gyorko could use his ability to hit for power and find the gaps to his advantage. Furthermore, because the Rookie Second Baseman would be hitting in front of San Diego’s veteran “power threats,” he is more than likely to see some favorable pitches in his At-Bats.
Miller also correctly mentioned how Yasmani Grandal’s suspension will hurt the Friars in the “power department.” With Grandal gone for 50 Games, San Diego must find power from other sources. One possible source could very well be Gyorko, and him and the rest of the lineup must find ways to replace the Catcher’s projected power numbers “in the aggregate” during his absence.
I believe that the more experience Gyorko is able to accumulate in the present, the better off him and the franchise will be in the long run. Not only will Jedd be able to kick-start his career as soon as possible, the Padres will set themselves up nicely if the team’s Chase Headley, is eventually moved elsewhere this summer.
Remember readers, this is the Friars we are talking about here. This franchise has received a well-earned reputation over the last two decades for trading away their best and brightest stars for monetary and supposed “rebuilding” purposes. If the team gets off to a sluggish during the season’s first two months and find themselves 20 games under .500 by the middle of June, they could be willing to ship the 2012 N.L. leader in RBI’s for a haul of prospects. I for one do not want to see Headley traded. Yet I would not put it past Byrnes & Co. to pull something like that under the aforementioned circumstances.
Uncertainty over Headley’s future with the franchise aside, Gyorko remains an integral piece of the Padres’ current rebuilding process. Last year, San Diego gave then-rookie Yonder Alonso his first chance of consistent big league action. While Alonso had his ups and downs early in the year, the chance to play every-day helped the First Baseman improve at the plate and in the field. From July 1st on, Alonso hit .286 with 7 home runs, 22 doubles, and 44 rbi’s, and only committed 4 of his 12 errors during that span as well.
There’s no time like the present to let Gyorko “cut his teeth” at the big league level, and I hope that the Padres will give him the chance to contribute early and often over the course of the 2013 season.
Stats Courtesy of: Baseball Reference