What Should the Padres Do at Each Position?
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Options: Matt Kemp, Seth Smith, Tommy Medica, Carlos Quentin, Rymer Liriano, Alex Dickerson, Will Venable, Abraham Almonte, Jake Goebbert
Matt kemp is obviously playing everyday when healthy. He will be best placed in LF where the Padres can hide his poor defense.
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Seth Smith will also obviously play. Granted, he will sit against lefties. Given that he has a slightly better arm than Kemp, he will be better placed in RF.
Tommy Medica’s OF fielding stats indicate that he was minutely below average. However, he steadily improved in LF as the season progressed and has become a competent corner outfielder. He hits significantly better against lefties (.245/.288/.469/.758 versus .225/.284/.366/.650 against righties). Black might not put Medica in right. This would mean putting Kemp in RF full-time so that he doesn’t have to move over when Medica plays for Smith against lefties.
Oh Carlos Quentin… Another guy who hits better against left-handed pitching. But his injury problems will not give him a spot in the OF everyday and his lack of hitting last year doesn’t help. In fact, if the fans get there way, Quentin will be traded away. If he is on the Padres in 2015, he will get platoon time and pinch hit. He does not have the durability to play everyday (duh).
Rymer Liriano is ultra talented. He has a great arm, speed, and power. Liriano is good on defense. That’s not his problem. However, he struggled at the plate with only a .220/.289/.266/.555 slashline. His power will come when he is able to make more consistent contact. Like Peterson, he may not be ready to face big-league pitching on an everyday basis.
Dickerson has stiffer competition for a corner OF spot than he does at 1B. It’s unlikely he’ll be ready to make the team out of Spring Training. If he does it will likely be as a 1B.
Will Venable and Abraham Almonte will really only play CF. Neither will take playing time away from Kemp, Smith, or Medica.
For the same reasons Goebbert won’t make the team as a 1B apply here.
Bud Black should: I say Medica is capable of playing RF in a platoon role with Smith. So, Black should play Matt Kemp in LF and split time between Seth Smith and Tommy Medica in RF. If Liriano is to make the team, give him spot time in both positions to get him further adjusted to major league pitching.