The Padres are seeking top-of-the-order production this offseason, writes Don Norcross of the San Diego Union Tribune. The club went through nine players in the leadoff spot in 2010 and got little offense from David Eckstein who batted second.
As it stands now, Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley are set to play the corner infield positions while Will Venable and Ryan Ludwick will be the corner outfielders. Norcross writes that this means that the higher on-base percentage that San Diego is after will have to come from the middle of the field.
While Tony Gwynn turned in another excellent season in center field (32.9 UZR/150), his .204/.304/.287 slash line in 339 plate appearances left much to be desired. Meanwhile, shortstop Everth Cabrera took a major step back in 2010, hitting just .208/.279/.278.
The Padres' combined on-base percentage for the top two spots in their batting order was .310, third worst in the majors.