Padres and Platoons - Second Base

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Second Base has been a revolving door for the Padres. In the franchise's entire history, only three players have started 100 or more games for three consecutive seasons: Roberto Alomar (1988-1990), Quilvio Veras (1997-1999) and Mark Loretta (2003-2005).

Recent history has been more of the same. In 2015, rookie Cory Spangenberg upset incumbent Jedd Gyorko, forcing an offseason trade. in 2016, three-outcome-king Ryan Schimpf and company (Jemile Weeks, Alexi Amarista, Adam Rosales, Yangervis Solarte) filled in for an injured Spangenberg. Last season was actually fairly stable, with Solarte and rookie Carlos Asuaje sharing the duties.

With prospect Luis Urias beating down the door, the Padres might be on the cusp of finding true, long-term stability at the position. That said, it's been an all-out competition for reps this spring. Here's how the candidates compare in terms of second base defense, platoon split, and positional versatility:

Defense vs. RHP vs. LHP Versatility

Cory Spangenberg

Age: 26

Bats: L, Throws: R

0.5 UZR/150 (728.1 Inn)

108 wRC+

17 HR, .331 OBP

(718 PA)

71 wRC+

(231 PA)

*30 wRC+ in 2017

Below Average 3B/LF

Carlos Asuaje

Age: 26

Bats: L, Throws: R

2.0 UZR/150 (733.2 Inn)

97 wRC+

.343 OBP

(261 PA)

56 wRC+

.281 OBP, .054 ISO

(91 PA)

Limited 3B/LF in Minors

Jose Pirela

Age: 27

Bats: R, Throws: R

-13.1 UZR.150 (300.1 Inn)

82 wRC+

(338 PA)

*113 wRC+ in 2017

143 wRC+

.367 OBP,

(150 PA)

Above Average LF

Luis Urias*

Age: 20

Bats: R, Throws: R

60 Grade

.742 OPS in 2017

.855 OPS in 2016

.879 OPS in 2017

.834 OPS in 2016

Average SS, some 3B in Low Minors

All stats from Fangraphs and Baseball Reference.

*Urias' 2017 stats include AA/AZFL; his 2016 stats include A+/AAA.


-Asuaje and Urias have defense that plays everyday.

-Pirela is by far the worst fielder...The Padres would have to really value his bat in order to give him time at second.

-Urias had a decent-sized platoon split in 2017, but he was also injured for part of the year and has a plus-plus hit tool. They don't give 70-grades to players who aren't expected to hit both RHP and LHP.

-Pirela and Spangenberg both broke from career norms in 2017: Pirela improved against righties, while Spangenberg really fell off against lefties.

-I doubt the Padres would consider Urias in any platoon role.

-Pirela could fit in a two-way platoon. Pirela could play second base against LHP and left field against RHP. Either Spangenberg or Asuaje could play second base against RHP, with Renfroe in left field against LHP. That might be the most efficient way to test if Pirela's offensive breakout in 2017 was real or not.

Does a platoon make sense? How do you see the Padres starting, and ending, the season at second base?

This FanPost was written by a member of the Gaslamp Ball community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gaslamp Ball staff or SB Nation.