What Should the Padres Do at Each Position?
By Keegan Tatum
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Options: Yangervis Solarte, Cory Spangenberg, Jedd Gyorko, Yonder Alonso
Solarte is below average defensively for the reasons stated previously. The most competent, in terms of range, he’s been is at 3B. His range factor per 9 innings was 1.95 (league average 2.54). It’s bad, but that’s offset by his ability to get on base (.336 OBP). He’s not going to hit for power, but he provided a steady supply of hits and walks. The trouble with Solarte is consistency. Were June and August – the months he struggled – the real Solarte of the other four in which he was productive.
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Spangenberg got a bit of time in the big leagues over at the hot corner last season. Despite only playing seven total minor league games at 3B before being called up, he played really well. His bat was good enough to earn him some time over at third, especially with Solarte being his greatest competition.
Gyorko is only moving to 3B if Spangenberg proves good enough to force a move.
Alonso actually played some 3B in college. He was actually forced over to 1B, not because of defense but because of competition at third base. Alonso will only move over if his hitting and that of Tommy Medica is so good that Black needs to put both in the lineup.
Bud Black should: Split time at 3B 50/50 between Solarte and Spangenberg. Solarte is better from the right side, and Spangenberg only bats left. If Spangenberg proves to be a viable full-time option at another position, then either Solarte or Gyorko will be at 3B everyday. Ultimately, go with the hot hand – something I wish Black did more often.