Padres: The case for CJ Abrams on an expanded roster

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

The Padres sixth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft is looking at a non-existent season. He should be in consideration for the expanded roster.

Taken with the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, CJ Abrams earned MVP honors in the Arizona Rookie League last fall. He posted a .401/.442/.662 line with 12 doubles, eight triples, three home runs, and 22 RBI in 32 games.

He was promoted to Single-A Fort Wayne for two games and was expected to begin the 2020 season there as well. However, the coronavirus pandemic has put a wrench in his development. As it stood, Abrams was tentatively slated to make his big league debut sometime during the 2022 season.

But with no minor league season, MLB’s proposal for the owners and the MLBPA includes the expansion of rosters to 30 active players and 50 players overall. Does it make sense for the Padres to carry Abrams on the roster?

On the one hand, I say yes. Twenty extra players are a lot of people, and a case could be made that some playing time is better than none. I envision several scenarios, obviously, if injuries occur for Abrams to slot into shortstop, but also in late-inning situations.

Yes, he may struggle against talent that has a clear gap against, but in a modified season, I think we are going to see quite a few things that deviate from the norm. With Fernando Tatis Jr. planted at shortstop, there might be a case that Abrams could see some time at second base as well.

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Looking at Greg Garcia‘s playing time last year, 60 of the 74 games he appeared in came as a substitute. Abrams doesn’t have to play full-time right now. Again, playing time is better than none in what would otherwise be a lost season.

Do you agree, or should he sit out this year?