PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have less than three weeks to trim their roster from 54 players to 25, no small task considering their infield logjam and with three Rule 5 picks still fighting for roster spots.One month into camp, here's a breakdown of how their Opening Day 25-man roster
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have less than three weeks to trim their roster from 54 players to 25, no small task considering their infield logjam and with three Rule 5 picks still fighting for roster spots.
One month into camp, here's a breakdown of how their Opening Day 25-man roster might shake out.
• Spring Training:Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear
Catcher:Austin Hedges, Christian Bethancourt, Luis Torrens
Presuming his tight left hamstring has fully healed, Hedges has already locked down the starting job. Bethancourt, meanwhile, hasn't caught much, but he's still the clear favorite for the backup role. If his transition into a pitcher/catcher hybrid continues to run smoothly, that versatility could clear room on the roster for Torrens. The 20-year-old Rule 5 backstop has impressed behind the plate, even though he hasn't hit much.
First base:William Myers
Not that there was ever any doubt that Myers is the Padres' first baseman of the future. But he's hitting a cool .400/.545/.720 this spring for good measure. Brett Wallace could provide some Minor League depth, but the Padres are probably content letting third baseman Yangervis Solarte serve as Myers' backup.
Second base:Cory Spangenberg, Ryan Schimpf
Schimpf is continuing to battle tightness in his left oblique, while Spangenberg gets the bulk of the playing time between the two. There's also a chance Solarte slides over to second, leaving those two in a battle for third. But until Solarte can prove himself there, Schimpf and Spangenberg are second basemen, first and foremost.
Third base: Solarte
See above. Solarte has a spot in the infield locked up; the only question is where. He'll begin to see reps at second base as soon as he returns from the World Baseball Classic. If Venezuela advances to the final round, the second-base experiment could potentially linger into the regular season.
Shortstop:Luis Sardinas, Allen Cordoba, Erick Aybar
Sardinas is battling for the starting shortstop job with 11-year-veteran Aybar. As it stands, the two are neck-and-neck, and Aybar has probably outperformed the 23-year-old Sardinas in camp. That said, the Padres are currently in the business of getting younger. In that regard, they'd be best served to give Sardinas a chance to state his case as shortstop of the future. As for Cordoba, his versatility could win him a roster spot. The 21-year-old Rule 5 selection can also play second, third and outfield.
Outfield:Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Hunter Renfroe, Jabari Blash
The absence of top prospect Manuel Margot is glaring on this list. But Blash has done too much this spring for the Padres to pass on him. Well, that and the fact that if Margot remains at Triple-A through April, the Padres would gain an extra year of team control. Collin Cowgill is also an option if Dickerson's <a 219201330="" article="" http:="" m.padres.mlb.com="" news="" padres-alex-dickerson-suffers-setback-to-back="">back hasn't fully healed by Opening Day.
Rotation:Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Jered Weaver, Trevor Cahill, Luis Perdomo
Both manager Andy Green and general manager A.J. Preller have confirmed that they expect Chacin, Weaver and Richard in the Opening Day rotation. After that, Cahill and Perdomo have been the two most impressive rotation candidates this spring, though Jarred Cosart, who is coming off elbow surgery, could mount a push as he begins to work deeper into games.
Bullpen:Brandon Maurer, Carter Capps, Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter, Cosart, Christian Friedrich, Miguel Diaz
The first four are locks (so long as Capps is healthy). Diaz is a Rule 5 pick who we haven't seen much yet because of a blister issue. But it's a safe bet that the Padres will treat him the same way they treated Perdomo at the beginning of last season. That leaves two bullpen places -- and never mind that Cosart and Friedrich are starters. The Padres could get funky and use them early in games to flip matchups in their favor. In any case, both hurlers are out of options, and the Padres don't want to risk putting them through waivers.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.