Francisco Mejia could be the Padres DH on days he’s not catching
How the Padres are going to split time between Francisco Mejia and Austin Hedges behind the dish is one of the items that we’ll be keeping a close tab on when the season begins. Hedges is fantastic, defensively, but falls well short pretty much everywhere else.
This could be his last year in San Diego if he fails to prove why the Padres took him so early in the 2011 MLB Draft, albeit in a 60-game game. No pressure, kid.
But the Padres making a trade for Mejia in July 2018 and drafting Luis Campusano in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft officially put the heat on Hedges to perform.
Mejia hit .265 in 79 games last year and a robust .348 with four home runs and seven RBI in August while making 22 appearances, including 17 starts behind the plate. Having the DH available to the National League will be invaluable to the Padres, who can slot Mejia into that role on days that Hedges is catching.
As previously noted, Chris Paddack is likely to benefit most, as he posted a 2.55 ERA with Hedges catching for him compared to a 5.18 ERA with Mejia. Dinelson Lamet would likely do fine with either one, as displayed by his .214 and .230 average against with Hedges and Mejia, respectively.