Padres' Jose Pirela: Leading left field race
Manager Andy Green stated that, "it's going to be hard to play anybody in front of (Pirela) based on what he did last year and based on what he's doing in spring training this year," according to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Pirela is slashing .481/.559/.889 in 33 plate appearances this spring after posting a .288/.347/.490 triple-slash in 344 plate appearances in the majors last year. This vote of confidence puts Pirela in the lead for the Padres' heated left field competition with Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski. The latter's speed and ability to play all three defensive positions makes Jankowski a favorite to win a backup job. If Pirela ultimately wins the starting job, Cordero would likely start the year in the minors with Renfroe sticking around to see starts against southpaws. The 28-year-old Pirela has been receiving starts at second base this spring, so a scenario where both he and the other outfield competitors see regular at-bats remains possible, if Green opts to play him at the keystone and bypass Cory Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje. This remains a very fluid situation, but the manager's statement boosts Pirela's stock for the time being.
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