Padres: Edward Olivares deserves regular playing time

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SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 7: Edward Olivares #24 of the San Diego Padres hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park on August 7, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 7: Edward Olivares #24 of the San Diego Padres hits a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park on August 7, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Edward Olivares hit his first Major League home run in the Padres 3-0 win on Friday, and he deserves to be playing every day.

What a moment for Edward Olivares on Friday night. With the Padres leading 2-0, the 24-year-old pinch hit for Abraham Almonte in the bottom of the fifth inning, sending the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence.

Olivares couldn’t hold his excitement, raising his arm as he rounded first base and smiling for the camera to see. It was one of the best moments of the young season for me, personally. I couldn’t have been happier for the kid.

https://twitter.com/Padres/status/1291934221783638017?s=20

His last start came on August 1, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, which was part of a much larger 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in consecutive games. I understand giving the guy some time to collect himself, but a week seemed excessive.

The Padres brought up Almonte, who went 1-for-8, with the only hit coming in the Dodgers series. He got the start on Friday night in left field, but, as noted, was pulled, in what felt like a, “Hey, you’re about to be sent down when (Eric) Hosmer comes up, so here’s some extra playing time.”

Going forward, the outfield remains jam-packed, but Olivares deserves every chance as the team’s DH until proven otherwise. He was off to a decent start before the two-game skid, and the Padres other candidates for the role aren’t exactly overwhelmingly convincing at the moment.

Similar to Manny Machado, Olivares has struggled to hit the fastball this year, with a .200 batting average in such occasions. But he has a .250 and .333 average against breaking balls and offspeed pitches, respectively. Even then, his expected batting averages are much higher, suggesting he’s a tad unlucky.

Next. A trade with Boston for Vazquez may work. dark

He’s good enough to play in the outfield, allowing the regulars to either have the day off or play the DH themself. Let’s see what Olivares can do, now that Almonte is presumably out of the picture.

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