San Diego Padres Murky Outfield Situation Clearing Amid Chaos
By Tim Ryder
The San Diego Padres have had to put a great deal of tinkering into their crowded outfield situation due to injuries, but things could be working out better than we think.
The San Diego Padres have made the best of their outfield situation this season. To start the year they had Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, and Jose Pirela out there, with Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg getting some reps in, as well.
Myers has made two trips to the disabled list so far. He’s been missed but others have stepped up in his absence. Jose Pirela began the season off with a bang, leading the majors in hits at one point a couple of weeks into the season.
He then fell into an awful slump but seems to be working his way out of it. He’s 10-for-26 over his last seven games with three doubles and has assumed the spot at second base with regularity.
Margot is finding his way
Manny Margot is still slipping in and out of funks but seems to have the center field position cemented, aside from the sporadic day off. Before he went to the DL with bruised ribs after being hit by a pitch on April 10, Margot was hitting .159 with a .495 OPS and eight strikeouts in 44 at-bats.
He didn’t get a hit in either of his first two games back on April 21 and 22 but went 8-for-30 with three doubles, a triple, and four RBI over his next seven games and 15-for 59 in total since April 23. He’s slowly making progress, and that can’t be ignored.
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Cordero seems to have locked his spot in
Franchy Cordero made his debut on April 11 after Margot went down, and has thoroughly impressed.
Besides his Statcast-melting home runs, he’s playing a more-than-solid outfield and is maturing into a true five-tool player.
His habit of striking out needs to be worked on (38 in 104 at-bats this season), but he’s getting on-base at a respectable clip (.345).
He could use a few more bases-on-balls but he’s been putting in work in that area too.
Cordero took three free-passes in his first 68 plate appearances from April 11 to April 29, resulting in an emaciated .269 OBP.
Since April 30 though, he’s taken nine walks in 49 plate appearances for a .449 on-base percentage. That’s a prodigiously quick turnaround.
Jankowski has to be here, right?
Travis Jankowski, as we’ve mentioned here in the past, has made the most out of the opportunity San Diego Padres manager Andy Green has given him. Since making his season debut on April 29 he’s hitting .368 with a 1.007 OPS and 0.8 wins above replacement.
Next: Projecting the 2018 MLB Draft
With the galvanization that seems to be occurring with this team right now, whether it leads to a push to get back to .500 or simply a more-entertaining rest of the season, the addition of Franmil Reyes to this team adds a very cool little wrinkle.