Recently Cory Spangenberg has been pressing Bud Black for more playing time. He was a surprise addition to the San Diego Padres 25-man roster at the end of spring training and he keeps on surprising. The youth and hustle Spangenberg brings is refreshing to the elder Padres players. Being able to play multiple positions has also helped Cory Spangenberg creep into the lineup, and make the Padres ponder using him more
His tools are different from what the majority of the Padres bring to the table. Spangenberg provides the Padres with much-needed speed at the top of the order. He is also a left-handed hitter. Things that this Padres team are lacking at the moment. The right handed hitting Padres could sure use a lefty in the lineup.
With Spangenberg’s 3 for 5 game on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, he raised his season average to .289. The three hits were a first in his career, and at the age of 24, he is sure to have many more. With 100 total major league at bats in his career Spangenberg is hitting .290 with 12 runs, two homers, five doubles, a triple and four stolen bases. It’s very early to deem his success so far as the norm. He has however shown a natural ability that cannot be ignored. When players flash that kind of ability teams definitely take notice.
Will Middlebrooks and Jedd Gyorko have seemed to exchange places as Middlebrooks is in a deep slump and Gyorko is starting to hit. The hot hand between the two will probably start for the next week or so with Spangenberg getting spot starts against lesser right handed pitchers. Yangervis Solarte has been on fire and his bat will have to stay in the lineup. With Solarte, Spangenberg, Gyorko and Middlebrooks all trying to play two positions, the line-up is sure to change on a daily basis. That seems to be San Diego Padres manager Bud Black’s trademark move anyways.
Alexi Amarista and Clint Barmes are presently platooning at short and there doesn’t seem to be an end to that in the near future. The team has been in search of an upgrade, but the shortstop market is just really thin right now. Spangenberg has shown an ability to play but the team just has too many players to invest at bats in the young player. He will play and stay on the roster, but don’t expect him to play every day. The team is far more committed to Jedd Gyorko. He needs to start hitting and Gyorko’s recent base hits to right field might be a sign that he is coming out of his funk. Just in time for the Padres.
Will Middlebrooks is another player who needs to pick it up. His recent slump is troubling to the Padres but they are sure to exercise patience when dealing with the young slugger. So what should the Padres and manager Bud Black do with this young speedster? The team will surely protect him against lefties and tough right-handed pitchers, but he will most likely be platooned with the excess of infielders the Padres have. Bud Black has his work cut out for him, there are many potential line-up’s the Padres could go with. His job will be to select the correct one on any given day. Tough task indeed.