Wil Myers front and center

News and notes with Padres manager Bud Black:

Myers front and center – Among the many storylines facing the Padres this season is how the team’s new-look outfield will fare defensively, especially in Petco Park’s extensive outfield. The heart of that conversation starts with new centerfielder Wil Myers. The former AL Rookie of the Year had a combined eight appearances at centerfield in the bigs prior to his arrival in San Diego. With Monday’s start, Myers has seven under his belt and so far, his skipper is pleased…

Said Black: “He’s fine. We’ve been talking about Wil’s lines to the ball, his breaks, his routes. They’ve been fine. I think the thing that Wil has to get used to in centerfield is the communication between the right fielder and him, and the left fielder. That dynamic of taking charge is an important part of centerfield. And for Wil, being a 24 year-old, telling a 31 year-old Matt Kemp and telling 28 year-old, seven-year player Justin Upton, he feels a little funny about it. We’re encouraging him, ‘hey, do your thing.’ He’s played seven games. He’s going to be fine. He’s an athlete.”

Equally important, Black has Myers batting atop the order in the leadoff spot, another area Myers has minimal experience with…

Said Black: “We’re asking a lot of this 24 year-old. He’ll be fine. He’s a good player. He’s athletic. He plays hard. He’s holding his own. He’s getting his hits. He got two hits the other night. He’s taken a couple walks. He got hit by a pitch. He’s getting on base, stole a base. He’s doing fine. I’ll tell you what, he’s going to be a lot better next month than he is now and the month after that he’ll be better.”

Black’s buddy system – After a disappointing 12th inning loss to the Giants in the team’s home opener, the Padres responded with three straight victories over the reigning World Series champs. Last season, it took the Padres 39 games to win three in a row. But, as we all know, nearly half the players on this year’s active roster weren’t in San Diego last year. Moreover, Black is now integrating a healthy blend of youth and experience…

Said Black: “We have some guys with a lot of service time and track records of success. Having those guys and trying to integrate all the new guys with the guys we’ve had has been the thing that we’ve focused on as a staff and as a team. Again, we’re a relatively young team. We’re the third youngest team in baseball if you add up the ages and do all the division and that stuff. We’re young. But, obviously there’s some star power with Kemp, Upton, Shields, Kimbrel and others but we like our group. I think any team you manage, it’s a great challenge and a lot of fun.”

Everybody remembers the first – Left-handed relief pitcher Chris Rearick, who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso on Friday, made his major league debut on Sunday. With the count full, Rearick struck out Brandon Belt to end the seventh…

Said Black: “One of my favorite things is to watch a guy’s first big league game. Whether it’s his first at-bat or the first guy he faces, I love that. So do the other players. You know, the players are aware of guy’s first time in the big leagues and it’s cool. We put him in there in a little bit of a tough spot — one-run game. (Buster) Posey just homered, a little bit of momentum in their dugout and here comes Brandon Belt. And he got behind 2-0 then threw a strike, 3-1, and then went strike, strike. Isn’t that great? I was really happy for him. Players never forget the first one.”

– Andrew Burer (TWITTER: @andrewburer)




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