A severe quadriceps injury limited Cory Spangenberg to just 14 games for the Padres last season, which opened up a slew of at-bats at second base. The former first-round pick was progressing in his rehab during the offseason with the hope of being ready to compete for a starting job during spring training. During his absence, Ryan Schimpf emerged as a much-needed power bat as the team's regular option at second base, but Spangenberg will push Schimpf and Carlos Asuaje for playing time in 2017. Spangenberg has posted a career .269/.327/.402 line with seven homers and 14 steals over 142 games in three seasons with the Padres, and while there is still room for improvement with his hit tool, it's difficult to envision more power on the horizon. Spangenberg is an above-average runner, however, and he could become more aggressive on the basepaths in 2017 with run-heavy manager Andy Green calling the shots.
Spangenberg went 3-for-4 with his first home run of the spring in Saturday's loss to the Giants. The speedy infielder is currently locked in a position battle with Ryan Schimpf for regular at-bats at third base. Both players recently returned from minor injuries and have played well this spring. Both infielders also bring different playing styles to the table; Schimpf is a free-swinging power threat, while Spangenberg offers speed and defense. Manager Andy Green hasn't tipped his hand regarding who his starter will be, leaving both players as deep-league targets heading toward Opening Day.
Spangenberg (hamstring) is batting fifth and playing third base in Sunday's Cactus League game against the Reds. Spangenberg was scratched from Saturday's lineup after receiving treatment on his hamstring Friday night. It appears that this was simply a precaution, as he's set to suit up Sunday.
Spangenberg (hamstring) was scratched from Saturday's starting lineup after receiving treatment on his hamstring Friday night. Manager Andy Green noted the late scratch was purely precautionary, and that he likely would have let his utility man play had he been scheduled for the infield rather than the outfield. Spangenberg missed a significant portion of the 2016 season after tearing his quadriceps last April, so the Padres were being extra cautious after he experienced hamstring soreness following Friday night's game. The speedy lefty is currently competing with Ryan Schimpf (oblique) to serve as either San Diego's starting second or third baseman.
Spangenberg may see time in the outfield with Alex Dickerson (back) set to miss at least 3-4 weeks, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Dickerson's injury likely opens up a left-field platoon with Travis Jankowski topping out over Jabari Blash, but Spangenberg, who's battling with Ryan Schimpf for either second base or third base time, could add depth as a fly-catcher. This potential could install him with more value in NL-only leagues, where any path to at-bats increases a player's worth -- regardless of how mediocre the asset may be.
Spangenberg is back in the lineup on Monday playing third base, Bill Center of Padres.com reports. Spangenberg missed a few days dealing with a toe blister, but it seems he's healed and ready to continue his competition for a starting infield spot. He'll slot into third base in his first game back, as manager Andy Green is looking to move Yangervis Solarte to second base, flexing the Ryan Schimpf vs Spangenberg position battle to third base. Either way, with Schimpf sidelined with an oblique injury, Spangenberg will have plenty of opportunities to win the starting job.