Erick Aybar ultimately won the job, sending Sardinas to a utility role.
During said position battle, there was a third option that nobody even thought was in the conversation. He received some at bats, but rarely got the start for the team. No real credit was given to this man. This third option is Rule-5 draftee, Allen Cordoba.
Cordoba made the club after being selected third overall in the 2017 Rule-5 Draft. At first, he was in line to observe and learn from the veterans and “real” major league players. He wanted more. Cordoba took full advantage of every opportunity he earned, and found himself getting more and more playing time. Cordoba first started on April 15. Two days later, he hit his first major league home run.
Cordoba’s strong play is slowly pushing Erick Aybar out of his everyday role. Aybar has picked it up of late, and we all loved seeing him take Zack Grienke deep this week. He provides a great veteran presence for the young players, but it is only a matter of time before the Padres want to see more out of Cordoba at shortstop. Aybar is hitting now, but last week he was killing the team offensively.
A.J. Preller and Andy Green will likely soon be faced with a decision that will greatly impact the future. Should Erick Aybar be designated for assignment? DFA’ing Aybar will allow him to be sent down to the minors, unless he gets claimed off waivers by another team (he won’t). This will allow Allen Cordoba to get a lot more playing time, if not an everyday role. It might be early on this, but hear me out.
The argument is: Why not let Cordoba learn on the fly, and gain as much experience as he can? This season will not be about wins and losses, but about the development of our young players. What’s the point of keeping Aybar if he isn’t in the plans for the next three to five years? Allen Cordoba has a future and Erick Aybar does not. It’s as simple as that.
If Erick Aybar was producing and being a quality table setter then that would be a different story, but he’s not, consistently. Allen Cordoba looks unfazed, confident, and ready for major league pitching. Allen Cordoba is gaining confidence with every hit he gets. His time could be now.
We shall see what the front office will do with both Erick Aybar and Allen Cordoba. All I know is that many Padre fans, including me, are very interested in seeing a lot more of Allen Cordoba and a lot less of Erick Aybar.