Will Medica Make the Team

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:

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?

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  • VM David

    The track record would help lend some credence to the numbers he’s put up this spring, but I think his solid effort in September definitely makes him worth serious consideration. And definitely deserving of more than the tired John Roskos comments people make any time a minor leaguer has a good spring.

    I think he makes the club, and we’ll see from there. I believe in his bat, hoping he has enough elsewhere to stick around.

    • Billy Lybarger

      If there is any way for Medica to make the club, and Amarista not to, I am all for it.

  • Oscar Terrones

    I thought Maybin’s injury opened the door for Medica to make the team. Then Xavier Nady started doing things, like hitting home runs and being a good comeback story. I think Nady or Blanks will get that last bench spot, with Medica starting the year in Triple-A. Also, I’m disgusted you listed Amarista as an outfielder. DISGUSTED.

    • You know what’s really funny? The Padres PR folks list him as an outfielder. I’m just the messenger…

      • The Padres PR folks aren’t the boss of you! Mark him “infielder!”

      • VM David

        You see what happens, Met? This is what happens when you FIND. A. STRANGER. IN. THE. ALPS.

      • Don’t make me go find a toe with nail polish on it…

  • Xavier Nady RUINS everything!

    Medica will get some grooming as an OF in El Paso and will return to San Diego at some point before the summer solstice.

  • blahdu

    I am just totally confused about why Medica isn’t already on the 25 man. I truly believe he can handle LF, and even if he is just a first baseman, I still believe that he’d put up bigger numbers than Alonso. Sorry, but having watched Medica here in Tucson last year (fuck you El Paso!! Chihuahas?!?! Really?) extensively, I really believe the Friars should at least have Alonso on a short leash or be giving him way more innings in LF at the v. least. Medica has been healthy & consistent for pretty much his entire career even if he’s never cracked any prospect lists. Those are two things Alonso hasn’t truly had under his belt even if he was a higher level prospect.

    Anyway I believe Tommy has more than proved he’s conquered triple A and should be given a shot at semi regular at bats @ the ML level at the very least. If given closer to full time at bats I think he’d really excel. The problem w making him a bench bat is that he doesn’t continue to fully develop.

    Same w Blanks. We need to trade him to an AL team looking for a 1B/DH and upgrade overall depth by getting someone better than “the little ninja.”

    I know he’s a fan favorite or whatever but he was simply awful in the OF last year, esp CF, and his offense wasn’t anything to write home about esp considering the number of ABs he got last year.

    Also yes as AJM says Nady has ruined everything. Think it’s a long shot he’ll be much better than Kotsay last year. Okay that might be a little harsh 😉 …anyway all just my .02 done rambling now, Go Pads!!

    • VM David

      Sorry to be that guy, but Medica’s never played in AAA. That’s one of the knocks going against him making the MLB roster.

      • blahdu

        Yr right I guess. I went to 15 Tucson games and 7 SA games last season (I’ve actually lived in san antonio, lake elsinore and clairmont, SD before I moved to Tucson and seen quite a few games at all four places, mostly at Tucson and SA– I just need the tin caps [long shot] and the azl padres which I am aiming for this yr now I’m in a college baseball only town) so that’s maybe why I got confused but could have sworn I saw him being trotted out in Tucson like 10+ times but the mind can deceive with a shitty PA and thirsty thursdays HA…overall fully eat my hat.

  • GoldenBoy

    Nady has been plain awful the past 4 seasons and shouldn’t even be a consideration. I’m tired of these washed up veteran types who can’t hit taking up our roster spots. Amarista has never had a OPS over .668. He’s an awful offensive player. And Ryan Jackson’s infield defense is better. I love Blanks, but I’ve already given up on him. He’s far too injury prone to be taken seriously.

    It would be a shame to not give Medica the opportunity after his strong September & Spring. I feel the battle should be between Medica, Jackson & Rivera for the last 2 roster spots. And if Grandal is ready to go, it’s an easy decision.

    • #VeteranPresence, man! #VETERANPRESENCE!