There’s already a logjam in the San Diego Padres’ outfield. A handful of players are vying for two likely spots on the Friars’ bench. There could be another horse in this race, though.
The San Diego Padres have no shortage of options for their bench spots heading into Opening Day. Guys like Travis Jankowski, Jose Pirela, Matt Szczur, and now Hunter Renfroe, are all virtually locked into, at the very least, roster spots.
That is, of course, as long as all of the above players are still with the Friars come April. There have been reports of increased interest in Renfroe ever since the Padres signed free-agent first-baseman Eric Hosmer to an 8-year, $144 million contract.
San Diego Padres outfield depth means changes could come
Just earlier today, I outlined just a few of the potential scenarios that could play out over the course of Spring Training. Let’s take a hypothetical look at what the San Diego Padres’ depth chart in the outfield might look like.
The starting centerfield job will, by all accounts, go to Manuel Margot. The 23-year-old Dominican native has shown flashes of brilliance since making his MLB-debut in 2016. His WAR last season was an impressive 2.5.
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
Wil Myers will be manning right-field in all likelihood, with Renfroe either playing every-day or possibly platooning with Travis Jankowski.
Matt Szcuzr can play every outfield spot, just like Jankowski, but he would likely serve the team more effectively as the “fourth-outfielder” that can spell anyone playing beyond the infield dirt. ,
So with Margot, Myers, Renfroe, and Szczur having all-but secured their spots on the roster, that leaves another two spots for bench/role players, after naming a backup catcher, a utility infielder or two, and filling out the bullpen.
Where does Franchy Cordero fit into the San Diego Padres’ plans?
Pirela can play second base, and Cory Spangenberg can play second and third. Both also play left-field, but with all of the recent positional moves that needed to be made, there are other, more capable options for the San Diego Padres to turn to in the outfield.
As I mentioned earlier today, moving Cory Spangenberg could be a smart move for the Friars, as it would free up a roster spot to keep Renfroe with the Padres and give Christian Villanueva a clearer path to the eventual starting third-baseman job.
Giving Franchy Cordero a roster spot while Villanueva continues to hone his craft in El Paso this season could be a win/win situation for all parties. Cordero would be getting more and more exposure to MLB pitching, plus Villanueva would be playing every day in Triple-A.
Once the Padres move on from Chase Headley, whether that be sooner or later, Villanueva would be ready-and-raring to go and Cordero would have more MLB service-time under his belt, hopefully well on his way to blossoming into an eventual All-Star.