A worst-case scenario has been avoided when it comes to Trent Grisham. The San Diego Padres outfielder and leadoff hitter suffered an injury on Thursday in Cactus League action and left the ballgame.
He was later diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain and is expected to miss one week. Now, whether or not he’s actually back in action next week remains to be seen. If nothing else, the injury has set off a new wave of speculation online as to whether or not AJ Preller will make another move to shore up the outfield depth prior to Opening Day.
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
In theory, at least, the Padres already have the pieces in place to weather an injury like this. Their outfield mix is currently constituted of Wil Myers, Tommy Pham, Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth – as well as Jorge Oña and Brian O’Grady, both of whom have struggled badly this spring.
Oña has a measly .231 OBP in a dozen Cactus League at-bats and O’Grady isn’t faring any better, checking in with a .000/.143/.000 line in 12 at-bats of his own. Right now, you’re definitely not expecting either of them to be your Opening Day center fielder should Grisham’s injury linger into the start of the season.
If the Padres stay internal when replacing Grisham, Profar seems like the guy on paper. With a logjam in the infield already after the team signed Ha-Seong Kim this offseason, Profar is projected to be your super utility presence in 2021. What better opportunity for him than filling in out in center field?
Now I know that’s not the most appealing option for a lot of you, but you have to keep in mind, San Diego just brought this guy back for three years for exactly this reason. He’s your jack-of-all-trades who’s on the roster to fill whatever void exists. Right now, that’s in center field. And let’s not forget he’s coming off a very strong showing in 2020.
He has not however, got hot yet this spring. But given the relative inexperience of Oña and O’Grady, if I’m picking one of the three to take over in center field, it’s hands-down Profar.
Would the Padres make another blockbuster trade instead?
There’s one name that I keep seeing over and over again on Twitter: Joey Gallo.
To say such a trade would be a wild overreaction on the part of Preller is putting things mildly. Right now, we’re talking about a short-term injury, not one of the season-ending variety. Grisham is expected back before spring training wraps up and should have time to get back into the groove by Opening Day.
Even if he isn’t back right on time, San Diego has the pieces in place to weather the storm and come out alright. But you certainly wouldn’t know that by reading Tweets. Gallo, who is off to a scorching hot start this spring with the Rangers, won a Gold Glove last year and is widely viewed as Texas’ most valuable trade chip.
I’m not saying Gallo couldn’t be a fit for the Padres, because he absolutely could. But thinking that Preller needs to be on the horn right this minute hammering out a deal is ludicrous. San Diego doesn’t need to blow its trade capital on such a move when it’s far more likely that other weaknesses and holes will need to be addressed during the season as the team eyes a return to the postseason.