Ian Kinsler/Luis Urias Situation is Getting Complicated for Padres

Credit: AP Photo

Spread the love
Credit: AP Photo

Ian Kinsler and Luis Urias seem to be in the middle of a platoon at the second base position moving forward. Can the Padres utilize this concept the entire 2019 season, or are things getting too complicated for the team?

There is no doubt that Luis Urias has a bright future in major league baseball.

He has all the skills to be a consistent, everyday second baseman for years to come. The infielder is only 21, and will surely only improve his skills in time.

Presently, the San Diego Padres have Ian Kinsler on their roster. He is the eldest player on the team and a mentor for the youth on the squad. The right-handed hitter is not a vocal leader but instead chooses to go about preparing and playing the game in the correct manner. If a younger player wants to learn or has a question, he is open to discussing. However, don’t expect Kinsler to get in your face and demand respect.

For a young team trying to find an identity, this is precisely what they need. A veteran to learn from who has been through the battles of a major league season and is still playing the game at a high level. Kinsler is a 36-year-old veteran who demands a prospect to take the initiative in asking questions to get better. You only improve in the game by soaking up information from your teammates. Young players cannot be complacent.

For Kinsler, he has slow down offensively with his bat over the past few seasons. He may still be a decent defensive glove, but can the Padres get more out of the right-handed hitter with the bat? Kinsler has started slow, and with that, the Padres recalled Luis Urias from Triple-A. The move itself was a bit of a head scratcher, as Urias was not swinging well in El Paso and will now platoon with Kinsler at the position.

For a young player, especially one in an offensive funk, playing time is vital. They must have consistent at-bats to figure it out. Kinsler is capable of taking a day or two off during the week, but Urias will have issues finding that coveted consistency with his swing if only playing part-time.

So what will the Padres do moving forward?

Kinsler is under contract for the next two seasons. Luis Urias looks like the future at the keystone position but needs time to develop. There are decisions to be made moving forward for Andy Green, and the answers are not easily accessible. In the meantime, Padre fans will probably see a calculated rotation of this duo at second base, and that is already driving the fan base crazy. Ian Kinsler needs to pick it up offensively, or he will be replaced by a young player who needs consistent playing time. The business side of the game is rough, but if a team wants to be considered relevant, tough decisions need to be made. Welcome to relevancy Padre fans.

17 thoughts on “Ian Kinsler/Luis Urias Situation is Getting Complicated for Padres

  1. Many good posts so far in this thread. I guess I am more concerned with the overall lineup and roster construction than who of our current players should “get a shot”.

    Major kudos to the baseball ops for creating a team with depth for the first year in many years. I am unconcerned with pitching. We’re loaded, and it’s almost “just a matter of time” in my opinion that the cream will rise there. (Though our usually solid pen is concerning at present.).

    My real name is Matt, and I live in Iowa. I have followed the Padres since I saw Tony Gwynn in 1984. Lots of shitty baseball over that time, but adding Tatis and Machado changes everything.

    Back on point, barring something unforeseen, Tatis, Jr. and Machado will man the left side of the infield for the next decade or better. Two right hand only bats. It will be interesting to see Tatis as a leadoff guy tonight. Hedges is a right. Margot, Reyes, Renfroe, etc.: all righties.

    In terms of roster construction, either outfield or second base needs to become at least switch hitting positions. I guess I am wondering if either Urias, Kinsler, etc. are the fit at all, regardless of their ability. The younger stud 2B prospects may be too far away. I wonder what the staff believes as long term keepers more: the outfield or second base?

    I guess I would like to see more balance – not Dodger idiocy – within the lineup. IF they we’re intent on trading Myers after he rebuilds some value, I may be interested in adding Urias and Kinsler to acquire a top 2 slot on base machine who is either a switch hitter or lefty. Probably a pipe dream, but I would target Jose Ramirez. Switch hitting 26….280/.355/.479/.832…

    Let’s assume Tatis, Jr. sticks at leadoff and plays to projections, Manny fits as a 3, I think Ramirez would be a perfect fit at the 2. Hosmer, etc. fill in down the line.

    I really like where we’re heading! But, there is a lot of work ahead, too.

    1. On the cheap, I would target Villar. Again, this only if the Padres believe in the outfield more than 2B. Left handed outfielders are needed as well.

      1. Imagine…

        SS Tatis, Jr. R
        2B Ramirez S
        3B Machado R
        1B Hosmer L
        LF Myers R
        RF Reyes or Renfroe R
        CF Margot R
        C Hedges R/ Mejia S

        Imagine a lefty or switch hitter in RF. A healthy, at-potential Cordero for example. Would the Indians take a Urias, Reyes, Renfroe package for Ramirez and a pitcher as one possibility? They won’t be resigning their SS, so…?

  2. Kinsler’s signing made sense when it happened, but his role changed after the club signed Machado and fast-tracked Tatis. Now he is depth, and clubhouse character. Might as well give Urias a prolonged go at it and see what he can do. If hits at all the job will be his.

    1. 100% agree. The Pads can give Urias a solid 1-2 years to show his stuff, if not, Miller and Edwards are next up.

  3. I believe that Xavier Edwards is the future at 2nd base. He knows who he is as a hitter. He stated at the draft that he’s a table setter and the game still needs table setters. That’s what the big league line up needs.

    1. 100% agree. The Pads can give Urias a solid 1-2 years to show his stuff, if not, Miller and Edwards are next up.

  4. Thanks for the article. In agreement…..mostly.

    Regarding your comment “Urias was not swinging well in El Paso”….he was hitting .333/.400/.556 when called up. That’s not to shabby.

    Now, his Spring Training results were something entirely different (he stunk, to put it mildly). He is trying to hit homers and that isn’t his game. Which is probably what we are seeing from him at the Major League level….presently.

    Me personally, I am not ready to ordain Urias as the future at the position. He has skills, no doubt!
    If I were him though, I would be looking over my shoulder at Hudson Potts (signs of the bat waking up at the Double A level….and if it does, look out), Owen Miller (has hit everywhere and is on a rocket ship trajectory towards the majors) and Xavier Edwards (same as Miller, only Edwards looks to be the real deal at the top of the lineup…..and understands his game isn’t power), etc.

    For Urias, getting on base, solid base running, scoring runs and playing great defense are his strengths. If he doesn’t figure that out soon, there are more guys on the way. Some of them with much, much louder skills sets.

    Regarding Kinsler, got to agree, he has a Slider speed bat……at best. Good dude. But, he seems to be a late inning defensive sub at this point. Hope he figures it out. Otherwise, can’t see Green putting his name in the lineup often.

    WARNING: Rant about to begin…..

    Overall, this team has not had any consistency at getting on base in years (at least 12 years has passed since they got on base better than .323) .

    And nearly everyone of these guys swing like they are gonna have a 40 home run season (which ain’t gonna happen)….even with 2 strikes on them!!!!

    Even if they did go yard, they would have 60 – 70 RBI’s (at best) on the season!! Because no one gets on base in front of them. Plate discipline is foreign to this team.

    Rant done…..

    1. 18 at-bats in the hitter’s haven that is the PCL is not exactly a great way to judge how he is swinging.

      I agree there are plenty of options for the team at 2b in the future.

      Rant on. Every passionate fan is entitled to this.

    2. Dude – will you get off the “actually he hit .333 and….” I’m so sick of nerds like you who think they are “winning” baseball arguments because you memorize baseball stats. 90% of you completely suck at baseball and will never hit one over the fence. If you actually want to work on your own game, here’s some advice bro: ignore the statistics. In fact, anyone in the Industry will tell you the same thing.

      1. So does that mean we should ignore your statistic of 90%? As anyone in the stats business will tell you, 48.3% of statistics are made up on the spot.

  5. Good article James and very timely. I’m sure this has been on the minds of many Padres fans.

    Unfortunately I feel like Kinsler is this years Chase Headley and days are numbered. The Padres may have to lean more on Machado, Hosmer, and Hedges to provide veteran leadership if Kinsler can’t pull it together.

    Honestly I would prefer a platoon of Luis Urias and Esteban Quiroz to create some competition for the position. Quiroz can rake and also has some pop and deserves a shot at the big league level. I would even entertain Pirela who is a defensive liability over Kinsler but has shown he can hit at the big league level.

    1. In 961 plate appearances Pirela has earned an OPS+ of 91 and an oWAR of 1.1, which pretty much proves the opposite of what you are claiming.

    2. I like that Idea, Quiroz is solid at defense, can play all over the infield, good bat with pop, so yeah they should give him a shot ✌️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *