With Opening Day just two days away, Friars on Base had to chance to speak with San Diego Padres’ beat writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Kevin Acee. Enjoy!
As we head into the regular-season, the San Diego Padres are currently poring over their roster to finalize their decisions as to who will be with the team on Opening Day.
What better person to speak to about the Friars’ laundry-list of chores before first pitch on Thursday, than the team’s beat writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, Kevin Acee?
FoB: What has the transition been like, so far, going from being a columnist, back to being on the beat?
Kevin Acee: It has been everything I expected — and more. I’d done the baseball beat 20 years ago, so I came in with eyes wide open. It’s a grind. But not only do I love working hard, I love baseball. So even on days that aren’t so great or when I’m really tired, I still get to watch baseball and talk to people about baseball. Honestly, it’s a dream job.
Kevin Acee: I’m not sure Asuaje is a lock. I think he has earned the job, but they really like Spangenberg, and he had a good spring too. Plus, he has added value due to his versatility.
It will be interesting, especially with the Lamet injury. They might need to keep right relievers. They can’t do that and keep both Spangenberg and Asuaje and two backup catchers.
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FoB: Most of the starting rotation is unproven and fairly inexperienced at the MLB-level. Who out of the younger guys (Lamet, Perdomo, Mitchell, etc) could you foresee having a breakout season?
Kevin Acee: Hopefully, Lamet comes back and is all they expect — and all he’s looked like he can be. I don’t know about Perdomo.
Same thing this spring as always. He looked really good and then seemed to lose focus. But he did work through some sticky situations too. He’s good.
Mitchell hasn’t shown much except good stuff. But that’s a positive. I mean, it was spring. He could come into the season and be very good. His curve is sick.
Kevin Acee: Absolutely. He’s hitting righties better and laying off more pitches. I’m not saying he’s going to have a .350 OBP. But he doesn’t have to.
FoB: With the emergence of Christian Villanueva in camp, the logjam of other Padres who can play third base, and the lack of veteran SP depth, do you feel the team will look to make a move sooner rather than later, using Chase Headley as a chip for another starter to plug alongside (or hopefully atop of) Clayton Richard in the rotation?
Kevin Acee: They value Headley. And $13 million is not an exorbitant price to pay for a veteran who gets on base, plays good defense and is an eager teacher of young players. Now, they will entertain offers. But I don’t believe they are actively seeking to move him. Also, Villanueva will get his work.
Excellent stuff, Kevin. Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us! Let’s Go Padres!