Predicting the San Diego Padres’ 2014 Opening Day Lineup
San Diego Padres' Opening Day Lineup
After another down year and more shuffling of players during the offseason, the San Diego Padres still remain a team that generates little excitement from baseball fans. Seriously, can anyone name one of the players general manager Josh Byrnes signed this offseason? Maybe pitcher Josh Johnson might register with some hardcore fans, but Johnson himself has some serious mechanical issues to deal with before he can even remotely come close to his previous form.
With a very low payroll next season of approximately $80 million and not many prospects ready for promotion from the farm system within, the Padres will find it very difficult to compete for a playoff berth this season, especially with two teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, spending money left and right. Of course, Padres fans have gotten used to this same story over the years, as the team has not made it to the playoffs for eight years in a row now.
In terms of pitching, the Padres will have to develop some youngsters for the future. Prospects Casey Kelly and Matt Wisler will compete for rotation spots in spring training, and it remains to be seen whether they will make the major league roster by the end of the season. Veterans Ian Kennedy and the previously mentioned Johnson will look to revive their declining careers.
On the other side of the ball, the Padres will have to put out a lineup on opening day. Let's take a look at the potential names on the starting lineup card on opening day.
1. SS Everth Cabrera
Everth Cabrera hit .283 with 37 steals before being suspended for PED use.
2. CF Will Venable
A Princeton graduate, Will Venable was on the shortlist of players who hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases last season.
3. 3B Chase Headley
After a very disappointing season from the team's so-called franchise player, the Padres fielded trade offers for Chase Headley all offseason.
4. LF Carlos Quentin
On the wrong side of 30, Carlos Quentin is a potential candidate for most overrated player in baseball.
5. 1B Yonder Alonso
After spending a majority of his career behind Joey Votto, Yonder Alonso goes into his third season looking to prove that the hype surrounding him since his prospect days was valid.
6. 2B Jedd Gyorko
Former top prospect Jedd Gyorko is the most likely breakout candidate on the Padres team this season.
7. RF Seth Smith
Seth Smith was brought in this offseason via trade from the Oakland Athletics.
8. C Nick Hundley
Nick Hundley will compete for the catcher spot in spring training with Yasmani Grandal.