In all my years of watching baseball, I can’t remember a team with a more-talented bench (without spending a ton) than this year’s edition of the San Diego Padres.
No matter who San Diego Padres’ manager Andy Green decides to tab to fill out his Opening Day roster, the Friars will undoubtedly have a ton of talent not only up-and-down their bench but in the first-level of reserves ready to be called up in case of an injury (or poor play).
Let’s assume that the Padres’ starting eight is comprised of the usual suspects. Eric Hosmer at first base, Chase Headley at third, Freddy Galvis at shortstop, Wil Myers in right, Manuel Margot in centerfield, and Austin Hedges behind the plate.
Pirela has shown enough this spring to all-but-guarantee the starting job in left-field. The beauty of Pirela is that if, say, Asuaje should go down with an injury, he can simply slide right into that spot if need be.
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San Diego Padres have a plan in place
Cory Spangenberg has also proven his potential so far this spring, shrugging off a slow start by really turning it on over the last two weeks. He can play a very-capable second base, as well as some outfield too.
Franchy Cordero figures to at the very least, share time with Pirela in left. A steady rotation of Pirela, Cordero, and Hunter Renfroe should give the Padres’ left-field a healthy dose of power and fielding capability.
Renfroe, even though he’s a man without a spot, will make the Friars’ Opening Day roster. His bat is just too valuable to this lineup to not have him available to use in a late-game, high-pressure situation.
On the pitching side of things, the rotation should be well-insured against injury with the number of relievers in the Padres’ bullpen who are capable of starting as well. Matt Strahm, Jordan Lyles, Robbie Erlin, and Colin Rea were all starting pitchers at one point or another in their careers, as some still are and hope to still be.
Even if all of these guys don’t start the season with the big club, the depth is there, which in turn also protects the Friars’ big-league bullpen too.