Green Has Plan for Myers – and Wallace – at 1st Base

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The new manager of the Padres goes by Andy but you might as well call him Frank.

As in 'Let’s Be Frank.'

That’s because just a few days into spring training, Andy Green sounds like a very organized and confident man who’s not afraid to give his opinion.

When asked about Wil Myers becoming the team’s everyday first baseman, Green wasted little time in voicing his confidence that Myers will primarily play one position this season as opposed to years past.

"I think we’re all pretty excited about the possibility of kind of giving (Myers) a sense of security of where he’s going to play on the baseball field," said Green Monday. "Now he’ll still bounce to the outfield some, but he’s also open to that and I think anything’s possible for him this season.”

In December, the Padres traded Yonder Alonso to the Oakland Athletics. Part of the reason they did that was to free up first base for Myers.

Green spent a considerable amount of time during the off-season traveling to meet with his new players in person after he was hired. He met with Myers on three occasions and even traveled to Charlotte to speak with him.

Another player Green is counting on is Brett Wallace who excelled as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman last season for the Friars.  Expect Green to occasionally put Myers in the outfield - but only once in awhile.

“You play a 162-game season and you know Brett Wallace is an important piece of the puzzle coming off the bench," Green added. "He’s predominantly going to have to play first base. There will be a few DH days here and there but you can’t relegate Brett Wallace to the bench for an entire month and expect him to give you quality at-bats."

"So you’ve got to get him starts sometimes," continued Green, "and does that mean you’ve got to take Wil Myers out of the lineup every single time? Not in my book it doesn’t, so we’ll use Wil’s flexibility, his ability to move around to give Brett some starts and keep his bat fresh and keep it going."

In order for Myers to become an All-Star though, he needs to stay healthy.

Myers has yet to play a full major league season since getting promoted in 2013. 

He was named the AL Rookie of the Year after 88 games with Tampa Bay that season. But he has been hampered by wrist injuries on both hands since crashing into then-Rays teammate Desmond Jennings during a game against the Boston Red Sox in 2014.

“I think the main thing for (Myers) is to focus on what he can do on the field rather than fixating on his health,” said Green. “But I think an entire year of health for him – there’s no major limitation for what he can accomplish"

A few years ago, Myers was rated as the top prospect in all of Major League Baseball when he came up in the Kansas City Royals farm system and was later traded to Tampa Bay in a deal that included current Padres teammate James Shields.

When the Padres acquired him, they envisioned him as an integral part of their team with All-Star potential. They thought so highly of them then that they traded recent first-round pick Joe Ross (Tyson's brother) to the Nationals - a pitcher that Washington plans to have in their starting rotation for years to come.

Expect a healthy Myers to bat somewhere in the middle of the Friars' lineup this season. If he emerges as a force at the plate and in the field, there's a great chance he will represent the Padres when San Diego hosts the 2016 All-Star Game this summer.

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