No Clear Answer in Sight for Crowded Padres Outfield

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Credit: Padres

The San Diego Padres presently have a crowded outfield and there is no easy answer for playing time moving forward.

When Wil Myers and Franchy Cordero return from their injuries, there will be some interesting decisions to be made in regards to outfield playing time in San Diego.

Currently the Padres have seven players that are considered major league outfielders on their 40-man roster. Alex Dickerson is also listed on the 40-man, but he is on the 60-day DL and will not return anytime soon. Jose Pirela can also play the outfield and has been used there recently, but he seems to have settled as the every day second baseman for the team.

Having depth is great. The Padres certainly have that in the outfield. However, the Padres need to make a move. All these men deserve constant playing time and the team cannot juggle them around properly to keep everyone content. Players will either be sent down or DFA’d and not everyone will be satisfied with the choice.

The Padres have had numerous injuries this season which has delayed a decision. Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero and Hunter Renfroe have all spent time on the DL this year and that has been a godsend of sorts for the team. It has allowed all these men to remain on the Padres roster. But with Myers and Cordero mending, the Padres will need to make a move or two.

Here is a look at the seven players battling it out for five likely spots on the 25-man roster.

Wil Myers

He should be given every opportunity to play everyday for the team. The right handed hitter is capable of playing first, but Eric Hosmer barely requires rest so the bulk of Myers’ at bats will have to come while he is penciled in as an outfielder. Injuries have derailed the start of his 2018 season as Myers has battled an elbow injury and an oblique injury. The team is financially obligated to give Myers every chance to play. He is also one of the best offensive weapons for the team (when he is healthy) so he will play when he can.

Franchy Cordero

He is presently shelved with a right forearm strain, but also should play most everyday for this team. The left-handed hitting Cordero hits the ball hard and was beginning to show improved plate discipline before he went down with the injury in late May. Franchy is a decent defender, though he does get awkward jumps on fly balls from time to time. The young Dominican outfielder should be in the line up on most days, even against left-handed pitchers. He has shown the ability to handle them in the past.

Credit: AP Photo

Manuel Margot

Once viewed as the team best overall player, Margot has taken a bit of a hit in terms of value, early this season. He has played better over the past few weeks, but has yet to be reinstated to his leadoff position by Andy Green. The fleet-footed outfielder will surely be given every opportunity to play moving forward. The early struggles are concerning, but he was plucked in the ribs early in the year which might have messed with his swing mechanics.

Franmil Reyes

The emergence of Franmil Reyes in the past few weeks has only further complicated the situation in the outfield. Not that the Padres are complaining, as the big Dominican has made huge adjustments early in his playing career which are very impressive to see. He clearly has an idea at the plate and should be given plenty of playing time moving forward. Unfortunately for him, the numbers crunch might eventually lead to another trip to El Paso, but the Padres are certainly pleased with his growth and overall potential. He has a future with this team.

Hunter Renfroe

The former first round pick is swinging a good bat right now and should be given playing time. The team needs to figure out what to do with Renfroe moving forward. If they keep him or shop him- he needs at bats. His value is low right now, but at the age of 26, he could still be attractive for a team looking for power and team control over a young slugger. The Padres are probably exploring options on trades and Renfroe’s name could be included in talks. But for now, he needs constant at bats.

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Jankowski

Coming out of almost nowhere to earn relevancy is this speedy center fielder. He was thrust into a starting role after Margot went down and capitalized on it. He has cooled down after his hot start, but he still has improved his plate discipline. There were reports the Mariners asked about Jankowski earlier this season, but nothing happened. Jankowski is a plus defender with speed. He will not drive the ball out of the park, but he does have leadoff type skills. The team might explore dealing Jankowski, but they may view him as an insurance policy for Margot.

Matt Szczur

A lot of fans ask how is Matt Szczur still on this roster? Well, he can play all three outfield positions and excels at working the count and earning walks. That is something the Padres preach. His days could be numbered with the return of Myers and Cordero though. The team can still send down players and would not have to DFA Szczur to make a move, but his 40-man roster spot is valuable to the young Padres. Szczur is a quality teammate and a great person, but he has a long road to stay in San Diego through the end of the 2018 season.

Conclusion:

Something has to give with this group. You have to figure that the Padres will make a move to trade one or more of the before mentioned outfielders very soon. There is just too much talent in this group for practically any of them to spend time on a major league bench. A.J. Preller and his regime are at a point right now where they are considering buying instead of selling. The rest of the NL West has fallen apart and the Padres have the mindset they could compete this year. That could be dangerous for a team that is on a rebuild.

In the end, an outfield probably has to be moved to make room. Myers and his contract are seemingly safe. Margot, Cordero and their potential also seems like a safe bet to remain in San Diego. Franmil isn’t going anywhere, so that leaves Jankowski, Renfroe and Szczur. A trade is not a 100 percent certainty as the team could elect to send two of these young men with options down to El Paso. Not ideal for building trade value, but the Padres do not have to make a trade and they have shown they will not pull off a deal just to do it. They preach of getting maximum value for players in deals.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.
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Gary Klimas
Gary Klimas
3 years ago

Did anyone see the game yesterday (Saturday) when Renfroe got that BIG pinch hit double in the 8th? Like him or not, he is a lot better than many of you think. If you happened to see Kevin Acee’s game story this morning – Sunday, he is saying the same thing. Many of us “hope” Preller reads the comments and finally agrees. But will he? By Preller’s own roster moves, the man has consistently shown how much he favors players he acquired over the roster he inherited which by the way, includes 3 former #1 draft picks. The two outfielders… Read more »

Tanned Tom
Tanned Tom
3 years ago

It’s not a bad situation. But remember that players are either established by 27 or they won’t amount to much. Dickerson is not really in the picture, injured and already 28. Szczur was only kept because he’s out of minor league options, he is also 28. Renfroe is 26 and a fringe prospect. Good power, but not proven in any other phase of the game. Myers is 27 and not an OF on a playoff team. So the course is fairly clear, 1) move Szczur and Dickerson to clear 40 man roster spaces, the returns will be minimal. 2) keep… Read more »

Padre Paul
Padre Paul
3 years ago

Our Padre outfielders are an exciting group ! They can still juggle them for a little while longer. Margot could use a little extra time in AAA this year, but Franchy and Franmil are incredible talents and really hard to keep down on the farm. The odd man out – Wil Myers. The Padres are competing well without him, and I think his return is really going to upset the balance.
We need some starting pitching, and if we HAVE to trade one of our outfielders, that should be our target.

Tommy T
Tommy T
3 years ago
Reply to  Padre Paul

If Preller could leverage the surplus OF’s into some actual value, especially if those players help sooner rather than later (and if he keeps the more talented players) then I would have a lot more respect for him. The Padres DO have an abundance of value at the position. A good GM would turn that into help for the team, even if it means other teams get value as well. Can he do that? I seriously doubt it, but we can hope………

Mark
Mark
3 years ago
Reply to  Padre Paul

Completely agree, plus his performance during the past two summers; “like where did Wil Myers’s bat go?” make this more of a certainty. The writer above says: “The team is financially obligated to give Myers every chance to play. He is also one of the best offensive weapons for the team (when he is healthy) so he will play when he can.” I always thought baseball was a meritocracy, where those who are performing get the playing time. Salary, while a problem, has got nothing to do with, at least in this case, winning baseball games.

SD Don
SD Don
3 years ago

Myers needs to add a few strong AB’s and be moved ASAP with the Padres taking No Money back at all. Could be part of a package to the Giants for Bumgarner. Margot could be moved to Marlins in a package to acquire J.T. Realmuto. Reyes should go back to AAA until Sept. 1st roster expansion. Szczur needs to be a minor piece added to a deal we make to get core players into this organization, outside chance we keep him as a 5th OF. Reyes is in the wings if needed to come back also. Naylor and Reed are… Read more »

Tanned Tom
Tanned Tom
3 years ago
Reply to  SD Don

The Giants are not trading Bumgarner, and most definitely not for an overpaid, crap player like Myers. And the Marlins are gonna want prospects with star potential, not Margot. His value is very low. Casual fans always seem to think that other teams will part with proven star players for our mistakes and fringe prospects.
Maybe we can get Judge for Sczur and Ross. SMH.
Whatever you’re smoking, pass it over here!

Tommy T
Tommy T
3 years ago

It would be great if they could get something for Szczur. Margot needs time in AAA (if he rebounds, then this also delays his arbitration, so it is a win/win). Franmil could use more seasoning. If they could get great value for Renfroe that would be great. It is clear, however, that Preller will continue to pay players to not play for the Padres. He has several of these in the past, he is doing so now (even with Headley), and will do so with Myers (it is a matter of time), and he will also with Hosmer (albeit in… Read more »

Padre Paul
Padre Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  Tommy T

Totally agree with your Preller comments

Mark
Mark
3 years ago
Reply to  Tommy T

Hosmer, has an opt out….so that might play into this …No question, that the 33 million the padres are paying players to not play for them, Gyorko, Olivera, Shields, Headley, is a major underscore to the disastrous 2015 season of non-deals. We lost Trea Turner, Zach Elfin, Joe Ross, and others, yet gained a lot of debt. I suspect the team would be in a much better position today, if those deals had not been made. I also suspect, but only AJ knows, that it was more of a Mike Dee collaboration with ownership to overvalue the strength of the… Read more »

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