Padres promise less lineup juggling

The acquisition of Dave Roberts was key to the San Diego Padres for several reasons according to general manager Kevin Towers. Despite the obvious speed he brings to the lineup, it also allows the Friars to slide other players into more natural roles in the lineup.

The addition of center fielder Dave Roberts to fill the leadoff slot has all but finalized the Padres' batting order for 2005.

As it looks now, following Roberts will be second baseman Mark Loretta, right fielder Brian Giles, first baseman Phil Nevin, left fielder Ryan Klesko, shortstop Khalil Greene, catcher Ramon Hernandez and third baseman Sean Burroughs.

Although Greene hit in the eighth spot through much of his rookie season, the Padres are expected to move him up. The Padres also want to keep Hernandez in the No. 7 slot.

The result is a major drop for Burroughs, who seems to be moving down because of a combination of not enough speed to be at the top of the order and not enough power to hit sixth.

"We'd like to move the power we have up," said Padres general manager Kevin Towers. "Hernandez is going to be in the seventh spot almost all the time he plays. We had been thinking about alternating (the left-handed hitting) Burroughs and (the right-handed hitting) Greene between the sixth and eighth slots depending on who was pitching. But I think we're more inclined to bat Greene sixth."

The 24-year-old Burroughs was the Padres' leadoff hitter for 99 games last season but had only a .348 on-base percentage with just five steals in nine attempts. When he was moved out of the leadoff slot, he hit in the No. 6 slot. But he hit only two homers in 523 at-bats.

Greene had 15 homers (and 18 more RBI than Burroughs) in 484 at-bats. Hernandez had 18 homers.

"I think Khalil Greene will be a very productive No. 6 hitter. By the time he is done, I'd expect him to be a very productive hitter much higher in the lineup. I think the sky is the limit for him. I really do."


Before playing their first season in Petco Park, the Padres held a series of voluntary workouts -- mainly batting practice -- for their players at the facility. But while the players are using the weight and therapy rooms during the offseason, it does not appear there will be a repeat of the organized practices -- much to the chagrin of Padres manager Bruce Bochy. One of the problems is a soccer match between the national teams of Mexico and Sweden scheduled for late January.

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