Solarte and Middlebrooks will be battling at first or third this spring.
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Yangervis Solarte / Wil Middlebrooks
Yangervis Solarte was the player received in exchange for former Padres franchise player, Chase Headley. Former FriarsOnBase editor Billy Brost, wrote that Solarte more than earned his keep in his time with the Padres last season, but he could he be worth even more? With Alexi Amarista likely moving into the starting shortstop position, the odds were that Solarte would slide into the super-utility role that Amarista was filling the last several seasons. Solarte is more likely to lock down third base than any other regular position, and so far this spring he is four for 10 in his first four games.
Wil Middlebrooks is definitely not a sure thing. He came up highly touted in 2012 and showed power, hitting 15 homers with 54 RBI in 75 games. He stumbled in 2013 hitting only .227 and playing in under 100 games. In 2014, it got worse, much worse. Multiple stints on the disabled list led to a dismal .191 BA with just two home runs. Boston gave up on him, acquiring Pablo Sandoval in free agency. Staying healthy is of course key to his importance to the Padres this season; and Bud Black is playing it safe with him thus far this spring. He has played in only two games but has gone three for six in them.