San Diego Padres: Cory Spangenberg Needs to Be on This Team
By Tim Ryder
There have been insider reports out of Peoria claiming that the loser of the battle to be the San Diego Padres’ starting second-baseman might not make the roster. I respectfully disagree.
AJ Cassavell of MLB.com wrote in an article back on March 7th that the loser of the San Diego Padres competition for the second-base job might not make this team.
Granted, this was almost two weeks ago. While Carlos Asuaje has continued to tear up the Cactus League at the plate, Cory Spangenberg has turned his spring around after a slow start.
Jeff Sanders, of The San Diego Union-Tribune, also left Spangenberg’s name off of his reserves in his 25-man roster projections in his article from this morning.
These two writers are in a much better position than I am when it comes to having 1) an inside track on accurate information about the Padres and 2) getting a feel for the team, overall.
While I’m not in any way disputing the reporting or opinions of either of these two fantastic sportswriters, I respectfully disagree with their assumptions that, if he indeed does lose the battle for second, Cory Spangenberg will not be on the Padres’ Opening Day roster.
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Carlos Asuaje, 26, figures to have the Opening Day nod virtually sewn up at this point. He’s had an outstanding spring and is the better defender, which is practically undisputed.
But Spangenberg, 27, to this writer, is an intriguingly good, young ballplayer. As I wrote yesterday, he’s one of the current Friars who hasn’t truly gotten the chance to showcase his skills at the MLB-level.
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He still wouldn’t be an everyday player, even if he does make the team out of camp.
Though, having him face MLB pitching while waiting for his opportunity sounds a lot more beneficial to Spangenberg, as opposed to playing in the stat-skewed PCL.
Plus, Spangler can play second base, third base, corner-outfield, and would be a viable option in an early-game pinch-hitting situation.
Keeping bigger-boppers like Christian Villanueva and Hunter Renfroe on the bench until late in the game would have its benefits.
Using guys like Spangenberg or Travis Jankowski early on could make for a potent menu of available hitters as games progress and batters are needed.
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I’m not going to attempt to decide who doesn’t make the roster instead, but, personally, I’d like to see Cory Spangenberg on the San Diego Padres on March 29th.