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Is Spangenberg the answer at 3B, LF?

Padres struggling at both positions
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Shortly after Cory Spangenberg arrived in the Padres' clubhouse Tuesday, manager Andy Green mentioned that Padres fans might be seeing Spangenberg -- or Ryan Schimpf -- in left field as well as third base in the coming weeks.

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Shortly after Cory Spangenberg arrived in the Padres' clubhouse Tuesday, manager Andy Green mentioned that Padres fans might be seeing Spangenberg -- or Ryan Schimpf -- in left field as well as third base in the coming weeks.

Both positions are trouble spots for the Padres these days.

In fact, aside from the pitcher's spot, left and third have been the two lightest positions in the Padres' lineup -- although the two positions lead the club in walks.

Padres third basemen -- mostly the slumping Schimpf -- have hit a collective .111 (8-for-72), although Schimpf has drawn 14 walks.

The situation is a bit more complicated in left.

Alex Dickerson figured to be a regular there when Spring Training opened. Then a disc protruded in his back and the Poway High grad went on the disabled list. Although Dickerson said he felt much improved last week, he is now on the 60-day disabled list and ineligible to return until the end of May.

He's been joined on the DL by Travis Jankowski, whose early-season hitting woes got worse when he fouled a pitch off his foot two weeks ago in Atlanta. He's now out with a bone bruise -- and those can take an infinite time to heal.

So right now, the Padres have Rule 5 Draftees Jabari Blash (2016) and Allen Córdoba (2017) ready to play left, and Schimpf and Spangenberg at third. But both third basemen are left-handed hitters, while both left fielders are lesser proven right-handed hitters.

Green said Tuesday afternoon that Spangenberg or Schimpf might spend time in left. My guess is that Spangenberg is the leader in the clubhouse for that consideration. For one, he's faster than Schimpf. And the Padres have given thought to Spangenberg playing in the outfield before.

Spangenberg was hitting .362 with Triple-A El Paso when he got the call Monday. But the plan was never to have him spend the entire season in the Pacific Coast League.

"There are a lot of things that we missed with Spangenberg not being here," said Green. "We always knew the day was coming when he'd be here. He's a big part of this team."

Until either Dickerson or Jankowski returns, left field looks to be unsettled. Although he homered Tuesday night, Blash is 1-for-13 this season with eight strikeouts, and he hit .169 (12-for-71) last year with three homers. That is 13-for-84 (.155) with 42 strikeouts.

Córdoba never played above Rookie Ball entering this season.

Game notes

• Second baseman Yangervis Solarte has back-to-back, three-hit games for the first time in his career. Solarte is 6-for-9 the past two nights, and 10-for-21 in a six-game hitting streak that has seen his season batting average climb from .224 to .291. Solarte also has two doubles, five walks, two RBIs and five runs scored during the streak.

• First baseman Wil Myers stretched his road hitting streak to a 12th straight game Tuesday night. That matches the longest road hitting streak of his career, set in 2013.

• Left-hander Clayton Richard struggled Tuesday, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings to suffer the loss. He did, however, pick off the 29th runner of his career. That places him fifth among active pitchers.

• Center fielder Manuel Margot not only made a spectacular diving catch in short left-center Tuesday, he extended his hitting streak to a fifth straight game (8-for-22 with a double and a triple). Margot had a seven-game hitting streak earlier this season (April 7-14).

San Diego Padres, Cory Spangenberg