Yangervis Solarte hurt himself after smacking a ball into the left center field gap on Saturday. The ball was deep in the gap and before Solarte was able to round first, he came up lame. Early indications are a right hamstring strain. He favored the leg heavily and was helped off the field by manager Andy Green. The cold Coors weather was a huge factor in Solarte getting hurt.
Adam Rosales immediately came in to run for Solarte and play third. The journeyman infielder had a great Spring, but is he capable of playing the position on a daily basis? Rosales looked to have developed as a hitter recently, but he is not a likely candidate to play everyday at the position. He did get two quick hits in his first two at bats of the season.
The Padres have the ability to move Cory Spangenberg to third base and with that recall Jemile Weeks from Triple-A. That could be an option and would give the Padres another speedy hitter in the lineup. However, Solarte was to be counted on as a run producer in the lineup. Rosales, Weeks, Alexi Amarista or even Jose Pirela are not the presence Solarte is in the lineup. All are available in the minors and are the only eternal options for the team at the moment. Right now there are no young third baseman prospects in the upper minor league level for the Padres
There is an outside chance you could see Brett Wallace or Wil Myers at the position. Wallace has recent experience at the position playing mainly third base last season in El Paso during the first half of the season. Wallace even started one game last year for the Padres at the position and played a total of 14 innings there. He has some experience at the position, but with a banged up foot, he might not be able to physically man the spot. Wallace missed some time during Spring with a foot injury.
Wil Myers has played the position before. In 2012 for the Royals Triple-A team Myers started 15 games at third and played a total of 122 innings there. He made two errors in that time but also turned four double plays and had 22 assists and eight put outs. Asking Myers to play third would open a spot for newly signed James Loney to play first base as well. Asking Myers to once again change position, might be too much for this young man. Myers is probably receptive of the idea, but the team needs to focus on what is best for his future. Changing spots again might stunt his offensive growth and that is what ultimately the Padres need from him.
There are the Pablo Sandoval rumors out there. The Red Sox are so desperate to get rid of him, the Padres could attain The Kung-Fu Panda for practically nothing. That is a scary proposition for Padres fans, as Sandoval looks horrible at the plate and his weight has ballooned to a whole new level. There is a Vine circulating of Sandoval swinging so hard during a game that his belt broke by the weight of his belly. Most Padres fans are completely against the idea, but there is the fact the Padres were major players in 2015 when he was a free agent.
Andy Green and A.J. Preller have their hands full at the moment. Losing Tyson Ross was a huge blow and now with the loss of Solarte the Padres face an uphill battle early in the season. Shellacking the Rockies for two straight games in Colorado has hushed all the critics of the team at the moment but they still need work. The Padres are not as bad as they were against the Dodgers and they certainly are not as good as they have been against the Rockies.
Solarte could be placed on the D.L. as early as Sunday or he could just be day-to-day. If he is forced to miss extensive time the Padres might be forced to find a replacement. Rosales seems poised to fill in adequately for now but the team will likely want a more everyday type player at the vital infield position. Rosales is more suited as a bench player at this point in his career. Stay tuned to see what the Padres do. Solarte is important to the team and his loss would be huge for the Friars. The Padres could be active in an attempt to shore up the position.