Is Jose Pirela’s time with the San Diego Padres down to the final hours?
Good morning, San Diego Padres fans and a big happy holidays to everyone! For everyone reading who celebrates Christmas, we’re only one week away and if you are like me, you’re going to have to brave a Christmas mall experience because you never learn your lesson and finish Christmas shopping early. Maybe one year I will figure it out early, but it won’t be this year.
As for baseball, today could be the day the Padres make the signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler official, meaning someone has to be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for the new addition. Is Jose Pirela down to his final hours as a member of the San Diego Padres.
He survived the roster purge needed to make way for seven prospects vulnerable to the recently completed Rule 5 draft and the addition of starting pitcher Garrett Richards, but the writing appears to be on the wall for Pirela with the latest signing.
San Diego already has a crowded outfield with Franmil Reyes, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, Travis Jankowski, and possibly Wil Myers. Even if AJ Preller pulls off a trade involving one of these outfielders, Pirela’s services won’t be needed in the outfield.
The 29-year-old played significant time at second base last season, however, with the top second base prospect in baseball, a 2018 Gold Glove-winning second baseman, and Greg Garcia on the roster, there won’t be a need for Jose Pirela at second base. That need diminishes even more if San Diego acquires a third baseman and Fernando Tatis Jr.comes up in 2019.
Another candidate to be designated for assignment when the Kinsler signing becomes official is shortstop Javy Guerra, but the 23-year-old’s glove may be enough to keep on the roster, at least for a bit longer.
Jose Pirela’s 2018 season with the San Diego Padres.
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Pirela struggled at the plate in 2018 and was one of the worst baserunners in Major League Baseball. In 146 games, Pirela slashed .249/.300/.345 with a .645 OPS, making it hard to justify giving him at-bats if the Padres plan on improving in 2019.
He added just five home runs, 23 doubles, and 32 runs driven in across 438 at-bats.
Among the 278 major league hitters who recorded a minimum of 300 at-bats in 2018, Pirela finished 249th in wRC+ (78) and 271st in WAR (-0.8). It was often tough to watch Pirela play both in the field and at the plate, but it was downright painful to watch him on the basepaths.
If you want to see just how bad Pirela was on the basepaths, Stephen Loftus broke it down, with plenty of visual examples, in a piece you likely read back in mid-August, but in case you didn’t, you can check it out here.
MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell believes Pirela is the likely option to be designated for assignment. Expect an official announcement by the San Diego Padres today.
Now, go finish your Christmas shopping. I wear a large if the Christmas spirit moves you to gift me any Padres gear.