Jun 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes (12) singles against the Cincinnati Reds during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The first option for Bud Black is newly-acquired Clint Barmes. The 12-year veteran from Indiana has had a good career and he has even been great at times. Padres fan might even remember his first ever big league home run, a game-winner against some guy named Trevor Hoffman. In 2009 I would even argue that Barmes was incredible batting .245/.294/.440 with 23 hrs, 32 doubles and 3 triples. Doing all this while playing with superb defense, posting a .982 fielding percentage. That being said his bat has definitely regressed since his days in Colorado, last year he hit .245/.328/.294 with no home runs in a part time role for the Pirates.
With all of Barmes’ history in the MLB, Black knows exactly what he is getting. Barmes is a great glove that has a history of playing all four infield positions, a good throwing arm, average speed, no power, and a low average. Basically Barmes is the corn at Old Country Buffet, everyone likes to have them on their plate, but it is basically just to eat your vegetables. He fills the role that teams love to have the veteran infielder that can play every position. If Bud Black starts Barmes, we can pencil him in to hit somewhere between .230 and .245 with little to no power. But he will play superb defense behind the pitcher and will bring value to the Padres.
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If I were in Bud Black’s shoes I would try to use Barmes as my utility infielder. That way you can use his defense on days when your infield starters need a break but limit the plate appearances that he sees. This will allow Barmes to play to his strengths and give the Padres the most out of an aging player.