San Diego Padres Fringe Players 2011: Who Makes the Cut?
Usually, If a player is exploring the fringe, they roll through sunny San Diego sooner or later. It's the preferred destination of guys looking for one more shot, returning from a long injury, or one last decent paycheck.
This season looks no different for the Padres, who have invited several familiar names to camp this year. I have penciled in 23 players so far, that leaves two player's jobs that are up for grabs.
Given the nature of turnover on the Padres fringe, these guys may be gone before we get to April, but for right now, there are my top five players with the best chance to get those last two roster slots.
1: INF Kevin Frandsen
The Padres signed former San Francisco Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen, looking to add a utility player to manager Bud Black's bench. Frandsen spent 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels, posting a .250 average in 160 at bats.
Frandsen has been a late inning defensive replacement, and part time starter since his debut in 2007. If he can manage enough with the bat this spring, he might edge his way onto the roster, but is more likely headed for Triple A. If Frandsen does stick, look for him to get in that same 150-160 at bats spread out over the season.
2: 1B Anthony Rizzo
The key piece of the Adrian Gonzalez deal, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, is a long shot to break camp with San Diego, but with a solid power display this spring, he could vault over Brad Hawpe and Kyle Blanks to become the Padres first baseman of the future.
Rizzo has put up nice power numbers in the minors for the Red Sox, belting 25 home runs in 2010.
At 6'3" 220lbs., Rizzo is a prototypical first baseman. Given the Padres overall lack of depth at this position in the minors, Rizzo sits as the number one or two prospect, along with Blanks.
If Blanks cannot overcome his injury woes, Rizzo should be up before the end of the season, depending on the Padres position in the standings.
There are no photos of Rizzo I can legally use at the moment, sorry...as soon as I find some, I will repost here..
3:C Greg Zaun
Veteran catcher Greg Zaun has finally found his way to San Diego, after a 16 year major league career. Zaun has played for Baltimore, Florida, Texas, Kansas City, Houston, Toronto and finally with Milwaukee last season.
With a lifetime avg of .252, San Diego signed Zaun as insurance in case Nick Hundley and Rob Johnson don't cut it this season, or get hurt. It is possible that Zaun beats out Johnson in camp as well, it should prove to be should be an interesting battle.
Kneel Before Zaun...Or was that Zod?
4: P Luis Perdomo
Pitcher Luis Perdomo got some time up in the show in 2009 with San Diego, but spent he most of last season at Triple A.
A 4.87 lifetime ERA is not a true indicator of the chance Perdomo has to take a spot in the bullpen this season, he has only pitched 61 innings in the majors.
Once again, a good spring might vault Perdomo into the majors come the end of March. Keep an eye on his appearances for San Diego out in Arizona, it might be your only chance to see him.
5: 2B Logan Forsythe
Padres first rounder, Logan Forsythe, is getting a chance to move around the infield, with his natural position of third base blocked by Chase Headley.
Forsythe is ticketed for some time at second base this spring, and could also take one of the last couple slots with a big spring.
Forsythe has put up nice numbers in the minors, batting .297 in 515 plate appearances, while hitting 11 homeruns, driving in 61 runs, and posting .430 on-base percentage.
10 to one he gets to San Diego for the start of the season, but Forsythe might make it up to the show this season if Orlando Hudson gets injured or has another down season at the plate.