No, I am not going to do an Abbott and Costello routine. The Padres have had, thus far, a busy offseason with a flurry of trades following Josh Byrnes’ takeover of the front office. Barring another major trade, I believe the Padres are just about set with their 40-man roster. They have one opening and it will likely go to a pitcher since they have a surplus of batters on the 40-man roster.
When taking a look at the roster, what jumps out at me is flexibility. The biggest weakness appears to be middle infield, but tell me something I don’t know. Here is my prediction of the 25-man opening day roster, acknowledging that some moves could still be made:
Pitching (12): Cory Luebke, Tim Stauffer, Clayton Richard, Edinson Volquez, Dustin Moseley, Anthony Bass, Huston Street, Luke Gregerson, Andrew Cashner, Ernesto Frieri, Joe Thatcher, Josh Spence
Hitters(13): Nick Hundley, John Baker, Yonder Alonso, Jason Bartlett, Jesus Guzman, Chase Headley, Orlando Hudson, Chris Denorfia, Mark Kotsay, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Will Venable, Logan Forsythe
Notice a glaring omission? Where is Kyle Blanks? There is no way the Padres carry six outfielders plus Guzman on the 25-man roster. This means either a move will be made or Blanks starts the year in Triple-A. This also leaves Blake Tekotte and James Darnell off the big league club. Tekotte, Darnell, and Blanks all in the PCL together is going to be big fun. Wish the team was in Escondido.
The pitching staff offers some depth and flexibility. Anthony Bass is a capable replacement if any of the starters should go down. Street/Gregerson/Cashner should provide a formidable 7-8-9 shutdown. Thatcher and Spence will be used against lefties and occasional righties. Frieri is just gravy.
I took a look at all of the hitters left vs right splits and liked what I saw. This team has lots of batting flexibility and should be able to score runs against RHP and LHP. Forsythe takes the final hitting spot because he can play multiple infield positions and even shortstop in an emergency. Forsythe also has a solid track record against lefties in the minors and the Padres need a bench bat that can hit lefties. Cabrera gets an immediate call-up should Bartlett go down.
Here is my projected lineup against RHP (with career splits vs RHP):
|Will Venable – RF||.258/.327/.442/.769|
|Cameron Maybin – CF||.254/.321/.401/.722|
|Chase Headley – 3B||.273/.352/.399/.752|
|Yonder Alonso – 1B||.337/.388/.526/.915|
|Carlos Quentin – LF||.260/.345/.501/.846|
|Orlando Hudson – 2B||.285/.356/.427/.782|
|Nick Hundley – C||.262/.314/.433/.746|
|Jason Bartlett – SS||.259/.322/.348/.670|
With bench vs RHP:
Wow, what a difference Alonso and Quentin make for this team against RHP.
Projected lineup against LHP (with career splits vs LHP):
|Chris Denorfia – RF||.305/.377/.423/.800|
|Jason Bartlett – 2B||.312/.378/.427/.805|
|Jesus Guzman – 1B||.321/.368/.472/.840|
|Carlos Quentin – LF||.228/.347/.458/.805|
|Chase Headley – 3B||.260/.322/.376/.697|
|Nick Hundley – C||.234/.316/.381/.697|
|Orlando Hudson – 2B||.258/.316/.393/.710|
|Cameron Maybin – CF||.257/.309/.349/.658|
With bench vs LHP:
The additions of Baker, Quentin, and Alonso along with the emergence of Guzman, Maybin, and Hundley give this team perhaps the most potent Padres lineup in several years. I am digging the flexibility.
So, the answer to the question of “Who’s on first”? Clearly, not Rizzo (sorry, couldn’t resist).