San Diego Padres: Who Starts at Second Base to Open 2017?
The San Diego Padres are strong at the second base position. Which of their three options will get the opportunity to start on Opening Day?
Of all positions, the San Diego Padres do not have to worry about acquiring a second baseman for their major league roster. With three capable options currently listed on the depth chart, San Diego ought not to waste their time exploring other options.
What they will end up needing to do though is decide which of Cory Spangenberg, Carlos Asuaje, and Ryan Schimpf will start at the position on Opening Day. Of course, the Padres want to enter the season with one every day option at the position. This will most likely be decided during Spring Training, but having an idea who the front runner may be would help the organization with other offseason decisions.
Spangenberg has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to play every day his entire career. A natural second baseman, the 25-year-old has been moved everywhere. Playing 19 games at third in 2015, and playing games in each outfield position, the Padres are still clearly searching actively for this youngster’s niche.
Asuaje is a bit different, as 2017 will be his first full season at the major league level. The 25-year-old Venezuelan born infielder played in just seven major league games in 2016 after being called up. Before then, he played 134 in AAA El Paso, hitting .321.
This season, it is safe to expect Asuaje to be in the majors for much more if not all of the season. As a versatile infielder who can hit for average and can run the bases effectively, this exciting player is an option to put near the top of the order. The question is not whether or not Asuaje is capable, but whether or not the Padres wish to thrust him into an everyday role.
More from Friars on Base
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
As for Schimpf, this is where the club really has options. Hitting 20 home runs in 89 games last season, San Diego definitely wants this young power bat in their lineup. However, even though Schimpf is listed as a second baseman, he did play 14 major league games in 2016 at third. With the abundance of second basemen, moving him over is certainly an option.
This is one reason the Padres were rumored to be selling Yangervis Solarte. This would make sense if Schimpf were to move over, but the uncertainty of counting on a second year major leaguer to be a reliable every day player could prevent this move. While it is uncertain how this all will shape up, it would make sense for the Padres to move Schimpf over knowing his capabilities at the hot corner.
Next: Wallace, Stammen, Villanueva Inked
Now may be Spangenberg’s opportunity. If he were to enter 2017 as the Opening Day starter, mentoring Asuaje while he plays a utility role, the Padres would best develop their young talent for the future.
That is how it looks at the moment, though anything can change in Spring Training.