I used to do this Twitter Q&A thing a few years back, so with nothing to write about last night, I decided to reboot the series. Twitter came through.

With Yangervis Solarte currently out with a strained oblique, this question gets a little more complicated. Still, I have a feeling the Padres will end up sticking with Solarte even if he comes back before the deadline (the guys at Gwynntelligence felt the same way on their podcast yesterday). There are some soft factors that make a lot sense there, plus the Tigers didn’t get back a whole bunch for J.D. Martinez in a recent trade. It seems like most teams just aren’t looking to add position players at the deadline, as everyone scrambles for more arms. The Red Sox could make sense for a fit if they want to be patient with their top prospect, third baseman Rafael Devers.

If Solarte stays in San Diego, that means he’ll be getting regular reps at second. That leaves Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje to duke it out over at third, with both of them likely getting time at second and in the outfield. Ryan Schimpf lurks in El Paso as an obvious candidate for a late-season recall, but it’s not clear that the Padres are too high on him.

I’m not sure if any team would actually trade for Erick Aybar, and I write that with all due respect to the lad. He works as a fine placeholder with the Padres, but I wouldn’t mind them getting “crazy” and putting either Spangenberg or Asuaje there (they could try both, although that’d leave nobody manning third). Sometimes a guy ends up playing better there than you’d think, plus it give you an extra opportunity to get another interesting position player on the field every day. Jose Rondon could also get a look at some point, although he’s currently on the DL at Triple-A El Paso. Aybar’s 33 years old and a replacement level player; I’d like to see the Padres use the second half to audition a few other players at short.

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The National League West might just be the most interesting division in baseball.

Actually, there are a bunch of interesting divisions in baseball, especially in spring training. But the NL West features four franchises with overhauled front offices (the Padres, Dodgers, Rockies, and D’Backs), the defending World Series champions (the Giants), two of the busiest teams this offseason (the Padres and Dodgers), and the on-paper best team in the major leagues (the Dodgers). There’s a lot to look forward to.

Below, I’ve provided a brief (hah!) preview for each team, with teams ordered by my Very Unscientific Predicted Standings algorithm. That’s VUPS, for short.

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peter griffinThere is a song from the 1980s called, “I Love L.A.,” by Randy Newman. Well I do love L.A. right now because they are making the Padres look great. The San Diego Padres are at least three games up on the SMELL-A Dodgers (you’re welcome long time Friar fans).

Yes in the offseason the Dodgers organization and team President Magic Johnson spent money like it was never going to be printed again. What has it gotten them, in the words of George Costanza, “Bubkiss!”   The Dodgers are dead last in the NL West  and nobody can explain why? Especially not manager Don Mattingly (who might want to polish up the ole resume).

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This week I was on the Sports Page with Acee and Annie on UT-TV to debate the Padres vs the Chargers. I know plenty about the Padres, but I don’t follow the Chargers that closely, so I brushed up on a few things before hand. I came across the story of Chargers rookie Keenan Allen wearing a Raiders hat in a Vine video that he posted online.


A couple things about that.

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