The Padres have been busy this offseason, and the lineup will have a slightly different look in 2018. San Diego filled a major need by trading for shortstop Freddy Galvis, and the club also brought back third baseman Chase Headley. On the flip side, the Padres parted ways with third
The Padres have been busy this offseason, and the lineup will have a slightly different look in 2018. San Diego filled a major need by trading for shortstop Freddy Galvis, and the club also brought back third baseman Chase Headley. On the flip side, the Padres parted ways with third baseman Ryan Schimpf, infielder Yangervis Solarte and outfielder Jabari Blash.
MLB.com is taking a look at the projected (lineup/rotation/bullpen) of all 30 teams ahead of Spring Training. Here's how the the Padres might stack up:
LINEUP IF SEASON STARTED TODAY
Manuel Margot, CF
Freddy Galvis, SS
William Myers, 1B
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Cory Spangenberg, 3B
Carlos Asuaje, 2B
Jose Pirela, LF
Austin Hedges, C
The Padres set a club record with 189 home runs in 2017, meaning there is no shortage of power with this lineup. San Diego will look to build on those power numbers in '18, as Margot, Hedges, Renfroe and Asuaje enter their second season in the big leagues. Myers remains the anchor in the middle, and he's the key to the Padres' success moving forward. Myers hit 30 homers last season, and he's since added 10 pounds of muscle and says he's ready to take the next step as a leader and ballplayer.
Can new hitting coach Matt Stairs help fix San Diego's on-base woes? That's the biggest question facing this lineup right now. The Padres finished last in the Major Leagues in on-base percentage in each of the last two seasons. In 2017, they did so by a whopping 10 percentage points. The Padres hired Stairs as hitting coach in October. Stairs helped the young-and-free-swinging Phillies improve their on-base percentage by 10 points last year. His philosophy revolves around the ways patience can create opportunities to do damage. If Stairs imparts that wisdom on San Diego's hitters, they'll be better off.
WHAT MIGHT CHANGE
The Padres could make a major addition to their lineup if they are able to sign coveted free agent Eric Hosmer. Of course, landing Hosmer would be a luxury and not a necessity, as Myers already mans first base and has the largest contract in franchise history. Signing Hosmer would also require a serious financial commitment. If the Padres decide to go a different route, they could pursue an alternative left-handed bat to help improve the lineup. They traded Solarte last week, and they could still move another infielder if they are presented with a fair offer. Headley is the most likely trade candidate.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance.