Padres Editorial: Why Carlos Quentin Should Start At First


Carlos Quentin made his first start for the San Diego Padres at first base Saturday, with Bud Black praising his ability stating: “his hands are pretty good and he’s moving around well.”  Going on to describe the move as, “an option moving forward.”  So after months of speculation this is actually happening.

We all expected Quentin to get a look at first, the question is though, is he really the best option at first base? Or even the best right handed option?  As you know by now, the other candidates for the starting position include Yonder Alonso, Carlos Quentin, Tommy Medica, and even Will Middlebrooks.

More from Padres News

Will Middlebrooks seems to look good at third base so far this year.  Going in to the Spring, I expected Yangervis Solarte to win this job, but based off the numbers and the way Bud Black is playing the squad, it looks like Middlebrooks is penciled in at the hot corner.

Yonder Alonso has received plenty of criticism for not developing into the player he was projected to be.  His supposed power has never emerged, and he is routinely plagued with pesky injuries.  The new additions to the Padres should take some pressure off Alonso and hopefully have a better season as a result; since he won’t be so heavily relied on to hit home runs in the heart of the lineup anymore.

Tommy Medica has been knocking on the door for several seasons now.  He continues to put up impressive batting numbers this spring and is currently carrying an average in the .500s.  On Tuesday he showed some pop by clubbing a towering home run to left field off new Chicago Cub ace, John Lester.  If he keeps up this trend he should get a legitimate look at either first base or the outfield.  The problem for Medica though, is his spot is being clogged by Carlos Quentin.

Inserting Quentin as the everyday starter at first base would give the Padres another powerful bat in the middle of the lineup. Though I’m not incredibly concerned with having a right handed dominant lineup, the thought of removing one of our two lefties scares me.  With two lefties, the hitters can be separated to provide at least a little bit of balance.  His defense is practically guaranteed to be atrocious, but the Padres are hoping that his hitting will overshadow his defensive woes.

The Padres are obviously scurrying for a way to squeeze some value out of Quentin.  If he isn’t valuable in the trade market, they need a new way to make him earn that $8 million contract.  I expect Quentin to make the squad this year and get starts in the outfield and first base, not because he should, but just because he makes so much damn money.

What do you think?  Is this a legitimate attempt to get Quentin in the starting lineup?  Or are the Padres just trying to increase his trade value?  Will we see Quentin on opening day, or will he “strain an oblique muscle” before the season even starts?

More from Friars on Base