Trying to hold on to his starting job at first base is Yonder Alonso.
The last remaining piece of the Padres-Reds Mat Latos trade, Alonso was last seen with an injured wrist ending his 2014 season last August. When he first came over to the Padres he made fans who were devastated about the Adrian Gonzalez trade at least feel a bit better. No, he may not be the home run hitter that Adrian was, but he was a solid defender who slashed doubles into the gaps of Petco Park like nobody’s business. Remember, it was just 2012 that he hit 39 doubles and finished 6th place in the Rookie of the Year vote. Even in 2013 he hit .281, limited to 97 games, though his extra-base hits dropped significantly. It was really just last year that his games played slipped down to 84 (felt like less), his extra-base continued to plummet, and his OBP sunk under .300.
So in 2013 his Extra-Base hit ratio dropped to just 18% of his total base hits. We knew Alonso wouldn’t bring in the homers like Adrian Gonzalez, but we could live with doubles. In 2014 he did get his ratio back up to 42%, but with 30 fewer hits, 15 fewer walks, and a total BA drop of 41 points. Do you see the concern here?
Of course, he was hurt and being left-handed does give since the Padres lineup could have too many right-handed hitters already. If he can have a healthy spring training and be productive, he is all but guaranteed at least a platoon spot at first base for the Padres. Through last Sunday’s game, he was hitting three for nine with three K’s in three games played. Two of his hits were of course, doubles.