Hedges is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Diamondbacks. Hedges had started both of the previous two days, so he'll just be getting a breather in the series finale while Francisco Mejia gets a turn behind the dish. The 27-year-old is still looking for his first hit of the season after going 0-for-8 with four strikeouts in the Padres' three games to date.
Hedges was told by Padres manager Jayce Tingler that his opportunity to stick with the team is dependent on his ability to get on base, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Hedges' defensive acumen is unquestioned, but the 27-year-old slashed a paltry .176/.252/.311 last season and saw his power output drop for the second straight campaign. That's unacceptable for any big-league starter, even one with Hedges' elite pitch-framing skills. While Francisco Mejia -- Hedges' main competition for time behind the plate -- has struggled at times defensively, he wields a more potent stick and may have passed Hedges on the depth chart. In addition, Luis Torrens -- who represents a mix of Hedges' strong defense and Mejia's offensive potential -- is said to be in the mix for a roster spot, which could affect Hedges' playing time, especially if he gets off to a slow start.
Hedges is likely to make the Padres' Opening Day roster, but the amount of playing time he'll receive has not yet been decided, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Hedges led Padres backstops with 102 games last season, but he posted a paltry .176 batting average while striking out 109 times in 312 at-bats. His elite defense is likely to keep Hedges on the big-league roster, but he could see considerably less playing time if Francisco Mejia is able to complement his superior bat with improved skills behind the plate. Luis Torrens is also in contention for a roster spot but remains a longshot, per Cassavell.
Hedges agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Padres on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. This is Hedges' second year as an arbitration-eligible player. He will go through the process two more times before hitting the open market after the 2022 season.
Hedges is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Brewers. Hedges will give way to Francisco Mejia behind the plate Wednesday night. Hedges started regularly the last three weeks with Mejia sidelined, but with Mejia now back in action, the two figure to split the catching duties in some fashion the rest of the way.
|vs BUMGARNER (CAREER)||0/12||.000||0||0||0||2||4|