Last season when Everth Cabrera was suspended for a PED violation, it was Ronny Cedeno who stepped up and played SS for most of the remaining games in the season. Not much expected from the light-hitting, 30 year old SS, but he proved to be serviceable as he outhit his career rate stats (batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage) shaking off the rust that came with a poorer numbers with the Houston Astros earlier in the year. He also played solid defense.
That being said, that sort of uptick in numbers from a middle infielder on the wrong side of 30 was more of a sign of catching lightning in a bottle than a newfound asset that needed to be retain. The Padres apparently agreed with that evaluation as they let Cedeno hit free agency. Today he came off the market and signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies where he'll be one of a couple of insurance policies on veteran SS Jimmy Rollins.
The Padres will go back to starting Everth Cabrera at SS and it seems plan to once again use Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe as the emergency options. That's a fairly typical strategy to employ in these days of 12 man bullpens eating up roster spots. The SS is one of the best athletes on the field and barring injury should be expected to start close to 160 games. If an injury arises, then a call to the minors can be made to fill the hole with emergency options filling in for the meantime. The reason for this strategy is that most backup SS cannot hit adequately enough to be a useful bench option and thus decrease the pinch hitting and double switching options at a manager's disposal.
If Cabrera were to get injured (or worse, suspended again) the Padres have a couple of minor league options. It looks like the plan is to employ Ryan Jackson as the AAA shortstop. Jackson was acquired this offseason from the Astros in exchange for Jesus Guzman. He has a slick glove, but his bat is questionable. The AAA squad will also have former major leaguer (and 2011 San Diego Padre) Alberto Gonzalez. He has experience, but it would be problem if he had to play everyday in the bigs. At AA, the plan is to promote prospect Jace Peterson to that level. Peterson was at Lake Elsinore last year and would be stretched to make a leap to the bigs this season if a call up was necessitated.
Basically, the plan is for us all to root for Cabrera to stay in the lineup as much as possible.
- Minor League Free Agency: Eddy Rodriguez acquired by Rays
- Minor League Free Agency: Padres Offseason Losses
- Minor League Signings: Padres Sign Free Agent Pitchers Blaine Boyer and Zach Braddock
- Minor League Signings: Padres Sign Xavier Nady... Again
- Adys Portillo clears waivers; outrighted to Double-A Missions