Padres manager Bud Black is shuffling his infield once again.
Yonder Alonso, who normally plays first base, is starting at third base Saturday night against the Dodgers. At first base is Wil Myers, who is normally in center field.
Confused? I don’t blame you.
Myers, who filled in for Alonso when he went on the disabled list with a bruised shoulder, has expressed that he likes first base and feels comfortable there.
The problem is that Alonso’s bat has been strong this season (it’s a good problem to have) and shouldn’t be on the bench. So, although it isn’t clear how much time Myers will get at first base versus how much time he will see in center field, it could be that Black sees Myers there for a long stretch and is trying to find a long-term solution for Alonso’s bat.
Or, this could just be an experiment that ends quickly.
Black said they will “see how it looks tonight” to see if they can implement it going forward, to allow them to get the best out of their lineup.
Alonso has been taking grounders at third during practice for about ten days. He played third in Miami as a teenager, but then switched to first his freshman year at the University of Miami. He’s made one start at third in the Major Leagues -- when he played for Cincinnati, in 2011.
Saturday’s lineup also allows Will Venable to play center field, something Black said factored heavily into the decision. Venable is the team’s best center fielder and is hitting .257, with five home runs.
In injury news, pitcher Josh Johnson (who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery) will throw a simulated game Monday and pitcher Cory Luebke (rehabbing from his second Tommy John) will make his first rehab start Saturday night with Lake Elsinore and will pitch one inning. Pitcher Brandon Morrow (shoulder injury) is still a week to ten days from picking up a baseball, Black said.