No one really pays attention to Spring Training statistics. First, you’re getting a lot of at-bats against pitchers who aren’t Major League ready, or veterans working on something specific. Or, you’re facing hitters who aren’t Major League ready, or veterans working on something specific. Either way, the numbers put up in the spring rarely (if ever) translate into success during the season. Baseball history is replete with stories of guys who tore up the Grapefruit or Cactus Leagues, only to be back in the Minors come July.
So naturally this post will look at some of the numbers from this spring. Through yesterday’s game:
- Seven Padres have gotten a hit in their only spring plate appearance. Andrew Cashner is one of the Magnificent Seven; he singled.
- Rocky Gale may have the best name of the spring. He leads the team in hitting (minimum 5 AB), with 4 hits including a double. Hey the last two springs he only got two at bats total (per MLB). PROGRESS! Rocky’s already been reassigned to minor league camp.
- Rene Rivera, another catcher, leads the team in hitting (minimum 21 AB) with a .429/.429/.571 line. Given his career MLB line is .206/.241/.290, yeah, that’s probably not sustainable. Rivera’s value has been well documented here at Padres Public, but it remains likely he won’t break camp with the team.
- Tommy Medica is more interesting. First, he’s had a real good spring. In 48 PA, he’s hit .396/.420/.696. That actually compares favorably to his September call-up numbers (.290/.380/.449). Medica is 25 with over 1000 PA in the minors, where he’s also hit well (.295/.388/.538). Is the combination of his minor league track record, last September success, and this spring enough to get him on the roster?
The Padres have 8 infielders still in camp. Of the listed infielders, the guys fighting for a roster spot are Medica, Jace Peterson, Alberto Gonzalez, and Ryan Jackson. None of the latter three have hit so far; Jackson leads with a paltry .200/.306/.400 line. He hasn’t played in the Majors sine 2013, and has only 25 PAs total in his career, most of which came in 2012. Peterson was in A-ball last year so he’ll most likely get sent back to the minors in the next 2 weeks. Gonzalez hasn’t hit this spring, but he did hit a little with the Cubs last year; could he be the SS/3B utility guy this season?
Expanding out a little, assume the Padres will break camp with 12 pitchers, and 13 position players. Here’s who I think the 13 position players will be, with two weeks to go:
- Outfielders: Alexi Amarista, Kyle Blanks, Chris Denorfia, Carlos Quentin, Seth Smith, Will Venable (6)
- Catchers: Yasmani Grandal, Nick Hundley (2)
- Infielders: Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera, Chase Headley, Alberto Gonzalez (5)
The only wild card here is Headley, not because he’s a borderline MLB-er, but because of the calf injury. He hasn’t had an at bat this spring (again, according to MLB.com). He may start the year on the DL just so he can go through extended spring training and get some reps. If that happens, Medica will break camp with the Padres, and Amarista becomes primarily a utility middle infielder, much to Ghost of RAK’s relief. Also, Cameron Maybin will start the year on the DL, otherwise we have an interesting discussion on which OF gets cut.
For as much faith as we can put into spring statistics, Tommy Medica has had a pretty good 2014 in the desert. I think the odds are good he’ll break camp with the team. What do you think?
I post fairly regularly on Tuesdays, but the time varies. I even tweet occasionally but that’s more sporadic. I insist on two spaces after a period.