Around the Horn: Second base

Looks like job is Spangenberg's to lose

Around the Horn: Second base

A multi-part Around the Horn series, which features a position-by-position look at San Diego's projected starters and backup options going into Spring Training. We have already looked at the catchers and first base. Today, we look at second base.

SAN DIEGO -- In his brief time in the big leagues, Cory Spangenberg has worn several gloves.

He has played second base, third base and spent some time at all three outfield positions.

Could Spangenberg find himself essentially locked into one spot this season?

• Catcher: Battle behind the dish
• 1B: Myers ready to step in

As it stands today, Spangenberg looks like the front-runner to win the Padres' second base job on Opening Day.

In 2015, the Padres used four second basemen: Jedd Gyorko, Spangenberg, Alexi Amarista and Yangervis Solarte. With Gyorko being dealt to the Cardinals, the job appears to be Spangenberg's to lose this spring.

Spangenberg is coming off a season in which he appeared in a career-high 70 games -- including 67 starts -- at second base, of his 108 games played overall. According to FanGraphs, he had a 2.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) season in 2015.

Spangenberg's triple in the 6th

Spangenberg, who turns 25 in March, hit .271/.333/.399 with four home runs, 21 RBIs and nine steals last season. ZiPs projections have him at a 1.7 zWAR in 2016.

At times in 2014, Spangenberg offered the Padres an element of speed that was not part of the roster. He even helped win a few games with that speed. And he fits the bill of the style new manager Andy Green wants to play this season.

"We're going to be a much more athletic club, and I think that brand of baseball is very appealing to me, because when you have raw athleticism and speed, you have the capacity to put pressure on the defense in a lot of different ways," Green said during the Winter Meetings.

Still, Spangenberg won't just be handed the position.

Pirela's backhanded play

The Padres have other players on the roster who can play second base, such as Jose Pirela, who played 27 games at second base a year ago for the Yankees but rated as a negative-three in DRS (Defensive Runs Saved). Pirela plays the outfield as well and could fill a utility role.

Former big leaguer Jemile Weeks comes to camp on a Minor League deal. Carlos Asuaje, who was acquired from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal, has a shot at a utility role.

But for now, the job appears to belong to Spangenberg, who was the 10th overall pick by the Padres in the 2011 Draft.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.