Spangenberg, Padres eye spring action in OF

Injuries have Green looking to add 26-year-old to outfield mix

Spangenberg, Padres eye spring action in OF

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After spending most of 2016 watching from the sidelines, Cory Spangenberg just wants to see his name back on the lineup card. It doesn't matter where he plays.

A year ago, Spangenberg was locked into the second base job in San Diego before tearing his left quad in April. He played in only 14 games. This spring, he's played second and third base, and he will soon see time in the Padres' outfield -- which has been battered by injuries.

"The more versatility you have, the more positions you play, the more likely you're going to get in the lineup," Spangenberg said. "As long as I'm in the lineup, it doesn't really matter where I'm playing."

• Padres Spring Training: Schedule | Information | Tickets

Spangenberg will have to wait for his Cactus League outfield debut. As a precaution, he was scratched on Saturday after receiving treatment on his hamstring. On Sunday, he returned to action at third base, a more familiar position.

But make no mistake: The Padres are going to get Spangenberg time in the outfield -- out of necessity more than anything else. Left fielder Alex Dickerson will be out past Opening Day with a bulging disc in his back, while the club's top prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, Manuel Margot (left knee) and Collin Cowgill (ribs) are also dealing with injuries.

"The loss of Alex Dickerson kind of changed the complexion of the outfield a little bit," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Jabari Blash is obviously competing for a job. Cowgill's out right now, but he'd be competing for that extra outfield job, as well. If Spangenberg can go out there ... it's just some versatility."

Against right-handed pitching, the Padres would like to find a way to get Spangenberg in the lineup along with Yangervis Solarte and Ryan Schimpf. All three have played second and third base almost exclusively. If Spangenberg can play the outfield, it could give the Padres a solid left-handed presence in the lineup.

Entering Sunday's game against the Reds, Spangenberg was batting .241 with three doubles and a pair of steals this spring. He played eight games in the outfield in 2015 but had never even gotten work there until the Minors in '14.

"We're going to try to create as many options coming out of camp as possible," Green said. "I know he's played a little bit of outfield. He's just got work to do to be an outfielder and understandably so."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.