With 14 outfielders in camp, almost as many questions
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The word "muddled" might be a good way to describe the Padres' outfield picture, as the team has 14 outfielders in big league camp.
Of course, manager Bud Black had another viewpoint.
"It's a good problem to have," he said Tuesday.
Granted, not all 14 of the outfielders who reported to camp Tuesday -- the first full-squad workout is set for Wednesday -- figure into the team's plans this season. But many of them do.
Kyle Blanks, Alexi Amarista, Chris Denorfia, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Reymond Fuentes and Will Venable all saw time in the Padres outfield a year ago. Newcomer Seth Smith was added in a trade from the A's and Xavier Nady is in camp as a non-roster invitee.
There are questions with many of them: Is Maybin, coming off wrist surgery, healthy? How can the team find enough at-bats for Smith, a left-handed hitter? Will Denorfia play more than he did a year ago? Can Venable replicate the success he had in 2013?
And can Quentin, coming off his third knee surgery since joining the team on Dec. 31, 2011, play in more than 100 games?
Quentin had been limited to 168 games and 560 at-bats the last two seasons. Black indicated Monday that he's hoping Quentin can play in more than 100 games and can amass 450 to 500 at-bats.
"He expects to play," Black said. "He wants to play. It's bothered him that he hasn't gotten out there to the extent he wants to."