Wil Myers was drafted as a catcher … won a Rookie of the Year Award as an outfielder … and went to an All-Star Game as a 1st baseman.
Might as well add another position to his baseball card.
The Padres activated Myers from the 10-day disabled list on Monday (infielder Carlos Asuaje was optioned to Triple-A El Paso) and will give him his first big league start at 3rd base in the opener of a 3-game set against the Angels at Petco Park.
Myers made one start at 3rd base on a rehab assignment with the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm so the Padres are throwing him right into the fire but after moving to left field to make room for free agent 1st baseman Eric Hosmer Myers is cool with a return to the infield.
“Yeah I like the action. I like being involved with every play,” said Myers. “I’ll tell you what though I really enjoyed left field. One thing that’s been nice is working with Skip (Schumaker, a Padres coach) over there. But I knew this was a new challenge that they came to me with so I’m excited to take that on. Everybody enjoys a new challenge so I’m looking forward to that and seeing where it takes me.”
The move is based on the Padres desire to put their best offensive lineup on the field and right now the outfielders are outplaying the infielders. Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes, and Travis Jankowski have all been contributing so taking at-bats away from them is less desirable than taking them from Asuaje, Jose Pirela, Cory Spangenberg, and Christian Villanueva (who will likely see time at 2nd base).
“Any time I can move a position to get the right bat in the order during games … obviously here in the National League that’s important,” said Myers. “So I definitely want to have that option for the team.”
So does that mean there’s a scenario where he ends up back behind the plate playing the catcher position?
“No,” said Myers. “Not that one.”
The Padres do a lot of defensive shifting, something he’s not used to, so it’s nice he has a veteran shortstop like Freddy Galvis next to him as a safety net.
“I’m going to be relying on a lot of people tonight. It’s a new position, there are a lot of things I’ve gotta move. Obviously bunt plays, first and thirds, things like that. But we’ve got a good group of guys here. Andy (Green, Padres manager) will be on top of it, so I’m excited about it, looking forward to the challenge, and ready to get going.”
Myers is not entirely foreign to the left side of the infield. He has logged two Major League innings at 3rd base and made 15 starts there in Triple-A when he was in the Royals organization.
Plus, as long as he hits, he’ll get a lot of leeway as he learns a new infield position.