Padres Spotlight: Will Venables’ Role With Padres

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The best teams in September and October usually carry great bench depth. The San Diego Padres will have that, if they are contending around that time, in Will Venable.

Although his role with the Friars has been moved from the outfield to the bench, Venable understands that he will need to come up clutch in late innings when games are on the line. He’ll also be called upon should, as is usually the case for the Padres, to fill in for an injured player. Something the Padres’ new Big Three outfielders have had issues with in the past.

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Venable will be the longest tenured Padre (2008) on Opening Day this April. Leadership and familiarity with Petco Park and how the Padres operate will be something Venable can give his expertise on. Reported by FRIARWIRE earlier this week, manager Bud Black discussed the veteran in his club, “I try to challenge these guys on doing more than just playing.”

Like most 2014 Padres players, Venable didn’t know where or if he was going to be traded, in what turned out to be the most active off-season in Padres history.

Venable hit a career-low .224 last season so it was no surprise when Black talked to Venable about being the fourth outfielder on the club, amid any crazy spring training numbers he may put up. Black also told FRIARWIRE, “Will understands what we’ve done and why we did it. Players want to be part of a winning team. Will has a very good perspective. He knows he’s very important to this team.”

The Padres will need Venable because he is a rare left-handed bat in a right-handed heavy lineup, and has shown great speed in the spacious outfield of Petco Park.

Will may have not liked his role reduction, but if the “W” column is a little larger compared to years past, hopefully he won’t mind.

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