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Cordero to start season on DL

Padres outfielder still not running at full speed
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Franchy Cordero's lingering groin injury will keep him out of the mix for the Padres' Opening Day roster, manager Andy Green said on Saturday.

Cordero, the team's No. 10 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, put forth an impressive spring in which he batted .343/.465/.714. Ten days ago, he looked like the ideal candidate to serve as a backup at all three outfield spots. Cordero's elite speed and defense would've played nicely as a late-inning replacement, and his left-handed bat could have complemented four righty-hitting outfielders.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Franchy Cordero's lingering groin injury will keep him out of the mix for the Padres' Opening Day roster, manager Andy Green said on Saturday.

Cordero, the team's No. 10 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, put forth an impressive spring in which he batted .343/.465/.714. Ten days ago, he looked like the ideal candidate to serve as a backup at all three outfield spots. Cordero's elite speed and defense would've played nicely as a late-inning replacement, and his left-handed bat could have complemented four righty-hitting outfielders.

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But, Cordero began to experience tightness in his groin while running on March 15. Since then, he's taken part in bits and pieces of the team's morning workouts. But he hasn't begun running at full speed.

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"Where he is, it's highly unlikely he's breaking [camp with us] to start the season," Green said. "There are just too many days getting away from us right now, and we care too much about his long-term health to put him in a position where he's going to make the Opening Day roster."

The rest of the Padres' outfield appears to be set, with Wil Myers, Manuel Margot and Jose Pirela assured of roster places, and Hunter Renfroe a heavy favorite. Green noted a desire to carry a backup for Margot in center, leaving Matt Szczur and Travis Jankowski battling for one spot.

It might not be long before the winner of that race is forced to hold off Cordero, too. By Green's estimation, Cordero isn't far from a return. It simply wasn't worth rushing the 23-year-old back for Thursday's opener.

Video: Top Prospects: Franchy Cordero, OF, Padres

"It's a 162-game season, and the March 29 game isn't any more important than the July 3 game," Green said. "He's got to have that mindset, and we've got to get him ready."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Franchy Cordero