Aug 27, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Los Angeles Angels third basemanChris Nelson
(8) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Los Angeles Angels defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Corey Brock of MLB.com is reporting that the Padres have selected the contract of infielder Chris Nelson to replace the recently claimed Irving Falu.
The former first round pick is a career .268/.312/.399 hitter in parts of 4 seasons, and has only been a regular player once in 2012, where he played in 111 games for the Rockies. Last year he split time between the Rockies, Angels and Yankees hitting a meager .227/.273/.327 and only finding his way into 64 games. Those were career lows for Nelson last year, with the exception of his slugging percentage, which bested only by his rookie year’s mark of .320.
In 2014 he has split his time with the El Paso Chihuahuas and the Louisville Bats. In Triple-A this year, he’s hit .279/.355/.389, but since joining the Chihuahuas, his play has picked up dramatically. In El Paso he’s hitting .293/.422/.463. This should be taken with a grain of salt though, because of the hitter friendly parks that are in the Pacific Coast League. He has played every posistion in the minors with the exception of pitcher and catcher, so he will be a useful addition, but how long can the Padres go with 5 infielders and 4 starters? My guess not very long, so if it is Nelson I’d expect a related move within the next few days; most likely Peterson getting optioned out again.
Don’t expect a lot of power out of Nelson, but as long as he can hit over .200 then he’ll be an upgrade over Falu and the other current middle infield options.