What is Padres Lineup Today?


With three months lying between us and the start of the 2016 baseball season, it’s obvious that General Manager A.J. Preller is not finished tinkering with the roster. James Shields and other starters remain on the trading block. The Padres desperately need a shortstop and need quality bullpen arms almost as much. But let us put into perspective what moves have been made and look at what the Padres lineup should be if the season were to have started today.

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First, let us look at the roster. In today’s game, rosters are comprised of 12 pitchers and 13 position players. We have 13 spots to fill.

At catcher, given that Christian Bethancourt has no more minor league options, it is likely that Austin Hedges would be sent down. So, at the position, the Pads would have Derek Norris and Bethancourt.

Wil Myers will occupy first base with Brett Wallace as his backup and leading pinch hitter. Manager Andy Green will deploy Cory Spangenberg and Yangervis Solarte at second and third respectively. Alexi Amarista would still be playing shortstop.

In the outfield, the Pads will likely play Jon Jay, Melvin Upton Jr. and Matt Kemp from left to right. All together, they take 10 of the 13 position player spots.

It seems unlikely that Jose Rondon, who struggled in his call up to AA, will play well enough to take a roster spot. Jose Pirela is the most reasonable choice to take the backup infielder role.

In the outfield, Preller will have his choices between Rymer Liriano, Alex Dickerson, Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski, and Jabari Blash. Considering that John Jay and Melvin Upton Jr. can both play center, there is no special need to get a backup there. So, the two of that group to make the roster will likely come down to Spring Training performances. My guess is that Alex Dickerson (for his left-handed hitting) and Rule 5 slugger Jabari Blash will be in The Show on Opening Day. Regardless, unless one of those five has an outstanding Spring Training, none will crack the starting lineup. But we cannot assume that will happen.

So, if there had to be a lineup made today, here it is:

Jon Jay LF

Yangervis Solarte 3B

Wil Myers 1B

Matt Kemp RF

Derek Norris C

Cory Spangenberg 2B

Melvin Upton Jr. CF

Alexi Amarista SS

These spots were carefully chosen. Originally, Solarte was tabbed for the number 5 hitter. But he hits very poorly there. So, he was put to the 2-hole, where he has great career numbers. Spangenberg hits miserably at leadoff, but very well in the bottom half of the order. Granted, Jay is the obvious choice there despite a down 2015.

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The problems with the lineup are headed by the crisis at shortstop. Unless Ian Desmond is the Padre shortstop (which would be a really bad signing), the replacement shortstop will still likely bat eighth. Can you see Alexei Ramirez, Jean Segura, or some prospect hitting any higher? The way the lineup is now, the heart of the order is all right-handed.

Tinkering remains. But the lineup is far from the disaster some are thinking it could be. There are some wild card prospects that could take over a position, particularly in the outfield.