What if Franchy Cordero, Tommy Pham, and Wil Myers post underachieving seasons?
The Padres are expecting big things from Tommy Pham, now in a leadership role with this group of players. However, rumors have surfaced that Pham may not be ready to throw by Opening Day, with Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune even stating that he wouldn’t be surprised if Pham were shut down. Acee’s comments were a bit misconstrued as he also alluded to the former Tampa Bay Ray playing a full season.
Pham suffered a setback earlier in camp, but due to an oblique strain. He DH’ed for the first time on Saturday and knocked in his first run of Spring Training in Sunday’s contest. However, if Pham has to miss significant time recovering from the elbow injury that hampered him near the end of the 2019 season, you can forget about postseason baseball.
Accompanied by Pham’s health, both Franchy Cordero and Wil Myers need to have bounceback years. Cordero, too, has struggled to remain healthy in his short Major League career, but everyone has raved about his exit velocity. Assuming Pham plays, I would expect him (Cordero) to be the fourth outfielder on this roster. His teammates know what he is capable of, and now he needs a bit of good fortune on his side to showcase that.
As for Myers, he’s posted back-to-back disappointing seasons. The 29-year-old signed a six-year extension before the 2017 season but struck out at a career-worst 34.3 percent last year. Fangraphs likes him to post a .240/.318/.440 line with 21 home runs and 65 RBI (98 wRC+) but still striking out at a 30.5 percent clip. He was recently linked to trade rumors with the Boston Red Sox and already has two home runs on the spring.
If he stays, he needs to post similar numbers from 2017; otherwise, it’s likely best the two parties split. Wrapping this section up, production from the Padres’ outfield this year is going to be critical.