PEORIA, Ariz. -- Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias have been hailed as the Padres' double-play duo of the future. For now, that scenario will remain tantalizingly "in the future."Tatis and Urias -- the top two prospects in Padres camp this spring -- were reassigned to Minor League camp before
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias have been hailed as the Padres' double-play duo of the future. For now, that scenario will remain tantalizingly "in the future."
Tatis and Urias -- the top two prospects in Padres camp this spring -- were reassigned to Minor League camp before Tuesday's 7-5 win over the Cubs. Both were thoroughly impressive this spring, holding their own as two of the youngest players in the Cactus League.
Urias, a 20-year-old second baseman ranked as the Padres' No. 3 prospect and No. 36 overall, batted .286 with five doubles this spring. Tatis, meanwhile, was the youngest player in any big league camp at 19. He's the club's No. 1 prospect, ranked No. 8 overall by MLB Pipeline. In 12 games this spring, he batted .281, including an opposite-field homer in the Cactus League opener, his first game as a Padre.
"The upside is definitely there," said Padres manager Andy Green. "They're impressive young players who have work in front of them still."
It remains unclear where the duo will open the 2018 season after finishing last year at Double-A San Antonio. Both players have a chance for a big league callup in 2018 should they continue their rapid progression.
For now, with fewer innings available as Padres regulars begin to see increased playing time, they're headed for Minors camp.
"It's, 'Go down and get to work in relative anonymity,'" Green said. "Forget about the big leagues for the moment. Get better at your respective level where you're going to play. There's a lot to like in both of them, and there's still a lot of work for both of them."
Tatis and Urias first met during instructional ball two seasons ago. In Urias' words, they became "like family" last season in San Antonio. It's clear they've built a bond that stretches beyond baseball.
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Now they're part of a farm system that's ranked as the best in baseball by MLB Pipeline. In theory, they're an integral part of a young lineup that could thrive in San Diego for a long time. It's clear they left a lasting impression this spring.
"To get out here and get on the field with them and see how they go about it, it fires you up as a player," Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer said of the duo earlier this month. "The talent is real."
When asked about his Opening Day rotation this spring, Green has consistently mentioned Clayton Richard and Bryan Mitchell as starters who have locked down their places. On Tuesday, he added Dinelson Lamet's name alongside them.
"He's done some really good things, things we're very pleased with," said Green. "He did some great things last year, too. We've obviously been Dinelson Lamet fans here for a while. He's moving closer to [securing a rotation spot]."
The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 4.57 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings last season. If, indeed, Lamet has nailed down his rotation place, that leaves Tyson Ross, Christopher Young, Luis Perdomo, Robbie Erlin and Jordan Lyles fighting for two starting jobs.
As things are currently aligned, Lamet could start the Padres' second game of the season against Milwaukee on March 30. Green hasn't officially named Richard his Opening Day starter, but that scenario lines up with the club's pitching plans as well.
Asuaje goes oppo
Your move, Cory Spangenberg.
Carlos Asuaje went 3-for-3 in the Padres' victory Tuesday. It was the latest development in a position battle that has intensified as spring has progressed.
Asuaje is now batting .400 with a 1.164 OPS. Spangenberg, who was slowed early in camp by a left wrist injury, is hitting .321 with a .974 OPS. It's precisely what the Padres wanted from their second-base race.
"They're pushing each other," Green said. "[Asuaje] is playing very well. ... He played a very good game -- against left-handed pitching, by the way."
• Lyles was roughed up by the Cubs for a second straight start. After he opened the game with two scoreless frames, Lyles allowed four runs in the third. He surrendered five hits and walked a pair. It could very well be Lyles' last start. The Padres will soon cut down the number of starters they have in camp, and Lyles is a candidate to move to the bullpen.
"There were flashes of stuff to like. He just hasn't put it together consistently," Green said. "It's probably getting harder and harder for him to earn one of those rotation spots."
• Left-hander Matt Strahm worked 1 1/3 scoreless frames, allowing a hit and a walk. The Padres said they'd build him slowly toward a starter's workload as he returns from knee surgery, and they're living up to that promise.
• Outfielder Franchy Cordero smacked a go-ahead triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, his eighth extra-base hit of the spring. Cordero, who is now hitting .364 in Cactus League play, is battling for a backup outfield job with Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski and Matthew Szczur.
Up next: The Padres enjoy their first off-day of the spring on Wednesday (though Richard will throw on a back field to remain on schedule). On Thursday, Lamet faces the Giants in Peoria at 6:40 p.m. PT. The game can be listened to on Gameday Audio.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.