The San Diego Padres have brought back a familiar face.
Do you want hot stove action? Well, weeks after he was reinstated from the disabled list and elected free agency, outfielder Alex Dickerson is returning to the San Diego Padres on a minor league deal.
The 28-year-old outfielder hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2016 after two major injuries put him on the shelf for the last two years. Dickerson missed the 2017 season after undergoing surgery for a bulging disk and then missed 2018 thanks to Tommy John surgery.
Padres manager Andy Green has always been a fan of Dickerson’s ability and approach at the plate. When Dickerson went down last spring training, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune noted Green’s thoughts about the outfielder.
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"The thought coming into spring was he had a chance to push for playing time. Dickerson’s patient and flexible approach at the plate, which manager Andy Green assessed in February as “something unlike we have at the big league level,” is particularly valued."
In his first real action at the major league level, Dickerson hit .257 with a .333 on-base percentage and .788 OPS. Playing in 84 games, he accumulated 28 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs and `16 doubles. He also swiped five bags and was caught stealing just once.
Small sample-size preface, however, Dickerson hit well against breaking balls (.264) and offspeed pitches (.268) compared to fastballs (.250). Per Baseball Savant, his expected average against breaking balls and offspeed pitches was much higher, finishing at .303 and .296, respectively.
Bringing Alex Dickerson back is a move to bring in more depth to the upper minors. If he can finally show he is healthy and contribute with Triple-A El Paso, the Padres have themselves an outfielder with major league experience sitting in reserve, just in case of worst-case scenario at the major league level.
There may not be a path to the major leagues for Dickerson in San Diego, but hopefully can re-establish himself in the minors and catch on somewhere.