San Diego Padres Bench Will Be A Strength Of This Team

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Hunter Renfroe
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Hunter Renfroe /

With all of the positional turnover currently taking place, the San Diego Padres now find themselves with one of the more talented benches in MLB. Let’s imagine what the Friars’ reserve corps could look like this season.

When the San Diego Padres made the fairly huge decision to bring in Eric Hosmer, it threw the rest of the Friars’ projected starting lineup into disarray. It did, however, bring about one clearly positive effect; it significantly improved the quality of their bench.

Some players were moved from one spot to another, yet were still projected to be in the lineup. Others were forced out of their positions and are now projected to be reserve players. And, of course, there are those who were slated to be bench players who now find themselves fighting for a roster spot.

Disarray would certainly be one way to describe the Padres’ roster situation after the Hosmer signing. But that would be an unfair judgment and, in my opinion, erroneous.

Disarray constitutes panic and borderline-anarchy. There is no panic in Friarville. This was a planned move and the long-term results should show it was the correct one to make. The domino-effects brought on by the Hosmer signing have ultimately made this a deeper, more talented team.

On-the-surface changes for the San Diego Padres

The differences between this season’s edition of the San Diego Padres and last year’s team are obvious to anyone who scrolls through their respective rosters. One might also notice the logjam of outfielders and corner-infielders the Friars are currently stuck with.

We’ve already gone over the expected positional changes. Hosmer will take over at first, moving Wil Myers to the outfield. Hunter Renfroe, who had his sights set on the starting right-field position if the Friars didn’t add Hosmer, now looks to be destined for either a platoon in left or to be something along the lines of a super-reserve.

Renfroe could also win the left-field job outright and give the other players vying for a spot something to work towards. While I personally don’t see him playing every day in left, I do think Renfroe will get at least a share of the starting duties.

What might the Padres’ bench look like?

With Manuel Margot projected to start in centerfield for the San Diego Padres, Wil Myers in right, and a combination of Renfroe and another player manning left, it leaves the Friars with a couple of outfield reserve spots to be filled.

We can’t discount the leadership values and consistency (albeit, not outstanding production, but consistent) of Matt Szczur, there may be just too much talent competing for the same roster spot he would be for him to make the final cut before Opening Day.

Franchy Cordero is making manager Andy Green‘s decision an extremely tough one so far this spring. Travis Jankowski is finally 100% healthy and is looking to make a run at a bench spot, too.

Although he’s gotten off to a slow start, Jankowski’s terrific outfield play and the potential of his potent bat give him a leg up over Szczur, in my opinion. Even taking into consideration Cordero’s youth and inexperience, either of these players could serve the Padres in a more productive capacity than Matt Szczur.

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Padres have tough choices to make

Then take into account guys like Cory Spangenberg, also now slated to be a super-utility guy, and Christian Villanueva.

While there may not be an everyday position for these young players (yet), I would much rather see either one of them come up in a pinch-hitting spot than Szczur.

I understand the veteran’s clubhouse presence would be invaluable to such a young and inexperienced team.

But the truth of the matter is, Andy Green wants to put together a roster of players that give his team its best chance of winning. A player’s age (old or young) or MLB tenure will not be the deciding factors.

Next: Spring Notebook: Makita's Debut & Villanueva's Big Day

However this team looks when they open up the season in a few weeks, the group that Green selects will indeed give the San Diego Padres their best chances to succeed. And as well as know, competition breeds success.