We continue our highlighting of a pitcher and hitter in Padres’ camp that are standing out. Spring training has less than two weeks remaining and position races are tight.
Pitcher: Adam Cimber
The bullpen race is close and Cimber has not done anything to change that.
He probably was an afterthought to start camp, but he isn’t now. Cimber is coming off of a solid year in Triple-A, where in 37 appearances for El Paso, he posted a 2.92 ERA.
This spring, he has pitched in seven games without allowing a single run. In six innings, he has struck out five without a walk.
Spring numbers are hard to read into, but these kinds of stats cannot be ignored. Cimber has done everything in his power to earn a bullpen spot. He is 27 and has pitched in the minor leagues for five seasons. This may be the year he finally makes it happen.
He isn’t doing all this against minor league scrubs either, while wearing the number 84. He has retired Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Yoan Moncada, and Edwin Encarnacion, among others this Cactus League season. He is certainly throwing, perhaps emphatically dunking (March Madness theme here) his name into the hat of bullpen possibilities.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) March 14, 2018
Batter: Cory Spangenberg
The previous spotlight covered Carlos Asuaje, and now Spangenberg gets the nod. This indicates the margin in this second base battle is razor-thin. Spangenberg, a former first round pick, is coming off of the best season of his brief career (.264, 13 HR). He hasn’t missed a beat so far this spring.
Cory Spangenberg answers Carlos Asuaje's home run Tuesday with one of his own tonight. This one was not an Arizona homer. This was a rocket to right.#Padres second base competition is fire.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) March 16, 2018
In 10 games, limited early due to injury, he is batting .323 with three home runs and two doubles. He has six hits in his last five games, two of them homers. He has matched Asuaje blow for blow in limited playing time. The unfortunate thing is someone is going to win this second base job and the other will likely be in El Paso to get at-bats. It’s a nice problem to have for Andy Green and the Padres.