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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

Spangenberg CATCHER: Austin Hedges power and glovework will keep him behind the plate the   majority of the time - well, that and there's no one else to take over. To wit, Luis Torrens   and Rocky Gale will battle for backup.

 INFIELD: Wil Myers is set at first base, then it gets murky. Yangervis will play somehere,   likely second or third, but without a true shortstop, he could end up there. Carlos Asuaje   is in the mix for second along with Cory Spangenberg, who could also play third. Luis   Urias impressed in the Arizona Fall League and could handle shortstop, but there's no   reason to rush him.

 OUTFIELD: The Friars have a couple of promising fly chasers in Manny Margot and   Hunter Renfroe. Jose Pirela has a leg up on the third spot, but he'll be challenged by Alex Dickerson, Jabari Blash, Travis Jankowski and perhaps Franchy Cordero.

BENCH: Matt Szcur, along with some of the previously mentioned outfielders will serve as depth. Infield reserves are weak, with Ryan Schimpf and 2016 Rule-5 pick Allen Cordoba in the mix, along with Jose Rondon.

LametROTATION: What. A. Mess. Dinelson Lamet showed some nice flashes and Clayton Richard mixed in a couple of decent outings down the stretch. There's still time for Luis Perdomo to figure it out, but after that, it gets ugly. Matt Strahm could get a look. Colin Rea and Robbie Erlin need to show they're healthy.

BULLPEN: if Brad Hand is still with the club opening day, he'll get the nod as closer. Carter Capps has the closer-of-the-future tag, but underwent thoracic outlet surgery. He's expected to be ready in the spring, though the track record of those having the procedure is spotty. Travis Wood has taken well to the bullpen. Phil Maton has sneaky closer potential. Kirby Yates, Jose Torres and Miguel Diaz round out a decent group of arms.

PROSPECTS TO WATCH: As mentioned, Urias is close, but could use more seasoning. Scouts at the Arizona Fall League love his hit tool and were pleasantly surprised by his fielding, especially at shortstop. He's likely ticketed for second, but probably not until next season.The Friars have some intriguing prospects, but they're lower down in the system.

POSSIBLE ACQUISITIONS: The Padres are always candidates to scoop up a cheap veteran, looking to put up decent numbers, then move on. Petco isn't the pitching haven it used to be, but it's still one of top run-suppressing venues. The club could also be in the market for a veteran shortstop, a la Erick Aybar last season.

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