Analyzing The San Diego Padres’ Opening Day Lineup

Analyzing The San Diego Padres Opening Day Lineup

Padres Scoreboard
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres head into the 2014 season drowned by the waves of Los Angeles Dodgers hype, as It's basically the Dodgers and everybody else in the National League according to most. Despite a poor 76-86 record, and third place finish in 2013, whenever somewhat healthy, the Padres were competitive. Deciding to bank on the health of their own hitters rather than sign free agents, the 2014 opening day lineup will look very similar to 2013's.

SS - Everth Cabrera

Everth Cabrera
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

SS - Everth Cabrera

Everth Cabrera
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Everth Cabrera is the most important player in this Padres lineup. His skill-set is unmatched throughout the batting order, and his energy sets the tone for the entire offense. In just 381 2013 at-bats, Cabrera stole 37 bases and hit five triples. In an offense that struggles at times, Cabrera's ability to put himself in scoring position on a regular basis is invaluable.

CF - Will Venable

Will Venable
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

CF - Will Venable

Will Venable
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Cabrera was the Padres' lone All-Star in 2013, but if any other Padre was deserving of the honor, Will Venable would be the guy. While his 2013 .268 batting average wasn't anything to write home about, his 22 homerun's along with 22 stolen bases absolutely were. Interesting enough, Venable's 2013 numbers were very similar to what you would expect from the man he's replacing in center field on Opening Day, the injured Cameron Maybin.

3B - Chase Headley

Chase Headley
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

3B - Chase Headley

Chase Headley
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Padres fans hadn't witnessed a Padres third basemen have a season like Chase Headley had in 2012 since Ken Caminiti manned the hot corner in the late 1990's. Because of that, the expectations placed on Headley heading into 2013 were sky high.

Unfortunately, Headley fell way short of those high hopes; 2012 was a career year for Headley, so you have to wonder if his season was a fluke. He will get another chance to prove himself in 2014.

LF - Carlos Quentin

Carlos Quentin
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

LF - Carlos Quentin

Carlos Quentin
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

If Cabrera is the most important player in the Padres' lineup, Carlos Quentin is a close second. Nobody in the starting lineup possesses his raw-power, as well as the sense of toughness he brings to the lineup. As we all know, health has prevented that raw-power and sense of toughness from staying in the lineup. Quentin has changed his batting-stance in 2014 in hopes of preventing injuries. If healthy, Quentin solidifies the middle of the order.

1B - Yonder Alonso

Yonder Alonso
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

1B - Yonder Alonso

Yonder Alonso
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Not your typical power-hitting first baseman, but Yonder Alonso more than makes up for his lack of power with his line drives and ability to hit doubles. In a gap-friendly park such as Petco, his skill-set might be just as valuable to this club as a more powerful hitter would be. With the hot-hitting Tommy Medica making noise, Alonso must stay productive to remain a full-blown starter. Alonso's spring numbers say he plans to produce this year.

2B - Jedd Gyorko

Jedd Gyorko
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

2B - Jedd Gyorko

Jedd Gyorko
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Jedd Gyorko's rookie season was under-appreciated nationwide if you ask me. As a rookie in 2013, Gyorko's 23 home runs as a second baseman finished second only to 0 million-man Robinson Cano's 27. That's big; even bigger when you take into account that Gyorko hit just four less home runs than Cano when he had 119 more at bats than Gyorko.

With a full season now under his belt, Gyorko should improve on his .249 batting average in 2014.

C - Nick Hundley

Nick Hundley
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

C - Nick Hundley

Nick Hundley
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

There was some hope that Yasmani Grandal would be behind the plate on Opening Day, but the closer we get to the opener the less likely that looks. With all the hype surrounding top catching prospect Austin Hedges, as well as the possible Grandal Opening Day readiness, Nick Hundley has become somewhat of a forgotten man these days. His days starting behind the plate for this club may be numbered, but as of now he's still your starting catcher.

RF - Chris Denorfia

Chris Denorfia
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

RF - Chris Denorfia

Chris Denorfia
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

New arrival Seth Smith might find himself in right field quite a bit this season, but he won't be in right Opening Day, because Chris Denorfia will. Why? Well, lefty Clayton Kershaw will most likely be on the mound Opening Day, and not only did Denorfia hit .284 in against left-handed pitching in 2013, he hit .400 against Kershaw as well.

Look for a platoon situation in right field with Denorfia getting the call against all lefties.

Around the Web