For the most part, the San Diego Padres had an excellent spring training. Because the team is in a relative rebuilding phase and the unlucky injury bug once again hit the Padres, this was a great time for prospects and unproven players to strut their stuff.
There were also a few position battles, most notably the Padres getting highly touted prospect Jedd Gyorko into the lineup. After testing him out at second base, he seemed to perform at a mediocre level, yet his bat ultimately won him the job.
However, after Chase Headley went down with an injury, Gyorko will ultimately start at his natural position of third base on Opening Day.
Unfortunately, some players’ spring was more about shaking the rust off, and that may have cost them some playing time.
If you’re an avid reader of my articles, you probably know my true feelings on Will Venable. Unfortunately, he did nothing this spring to change my opinions.
In 19 games, Venable hovered around the Mendoza Line, finally finishing with an even .200 average. I will concede that he was efficient with his bat. With only 11 hits, he hit three home runs and 10 RBI. What is concerning, however, is his 10 strikeouts.
If he hopes to be the everyday right fielder instead of a probable platoon, he needs to display better patience at the plate, raise his OBP and make contact more often.
In four starts, Clayton Richard absolutely removed himself from the possibility of starting Opening Day.
In just 18.2 innings, he maintained a 5.30 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. He didn’t show the stuff of a staff ace or pitch deep into games. Though some pitchers thrive against lackluster spring hitting, Richard allowed hitters to have a batting average of .280.
Though I’m not much of a fan on measuring wins, his one win is also alarming. He obtained a K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings pitched) of just over five and allowed three home runs.
Freddy Garcia—released from the Padres.
Edinson Volquez—only pitched nine innings after pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
Tim Stauffer—only pitched 11 innings.
Rene Rivera—likely destined for the minors, will be the fourth-string catcher after Yasmani Grandal comes back from suspension.
What do you think? Who proved himself? Who was a bust?
All statistics taken from MLB.com