This article is part of our Spring Training Job Battles series.
Less than a week out from Opening Day, this one is still unsettled, at least publicly. The team has not tipped its hand. The biggest thing working against Archie Bradley in this battle is actually a strength: his ability to get more than three outs. Indeed the prevailing belief in the baseball world is that Bradley would be more valuable to the team in a flexible, multi-inning role. Yoshihisa Hirano has given up three home runs in eight innings this spring, but he has a 9:0 K:BB after striking out the side against Cleveland on Friday. Meanwhile Brad Boxberger has allowed just one run while striking out five in five spring innings. My money is on Hirano, but it's a total guess.
This wasn't a battle until Steven Souza went down with a shoulder injury Wednesday. Now there is an opening, with David Peralta shifting to right field to cover for Souza. Jarrod Dyson would make sense as the primary replacement given he's a lefty swinger and the far superior defender to Yasmany Tomas, but Tomas has had a nice spring (.316/.395/.474) and figures to see some starts against lefties. Chris Owings will likely factor into this mix as well.
Ronald Acuna will be up between April 13-16, but there is a window of opportunity in left field in the meantime. Preston Tucker, who was dumped by the Astros in December, would seem to be favorite for playing time, at