Padres Editorial: Five Padres Who Need A Good Spring Training

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3b/1B Will Middlebrooks

I wrote earlier in the off-season how the third base compeitition between Middlebrooks and Yangervis Solarte should be pretty competitive. Here’s another potential caveat. If and when Hector Olivera gets cleared and if the Padres sign him, it’s another name he may have to compete with. What about Cory Spangenberg? Could Jedd Gyorko play some third as well?

All of those questions can be put to rest if Middlebrooks proves he can hit like he did with the Boston Red Sox when he came up in his rookie season. A fresh start in a new place might be just the thing for Middlebrooks.

Power doesn’t grow on trees anymore, and it’s hard to find power bats for your lineup. The Padres’ thinking made sense in their trade for Middlebrooks especially since they only gave up Ryan Hanigan for him.

Middlebrooks being an RBI threat in the bottom of the order could make the lineup quite deep. We know Matt Kemp and Justin Upton will have their opportunities, and it should take pressure off Middlebrooks having those guys around.

Middlebrooks doesn’t have to live up to anything in San Diego. He can relax and try and do his job. He’s not replacing anyone like Kevin Youkilis. He doesn’t have Xander Bogaerts breathing down his neck. He can let it fly and see what happens.

Next: Padres Options At Shortstop

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