Wil Myers signed an extension with the San Diego Padres after the 2016 season. A wide belief within the organization, and the fanbase, was that Myers would become a leader in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
This previous offseason, the Padres went out and signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal. On top of Hosmer being a fantastic baseball player, the Padres valued his leadership abilities and viewed him as a mentor for all the young talent that will be coming in the near future. The team also believed that Hosmer would benefit Myers, taking pressure off of him as he is no longer considered the “face” of the team.
Unfortunately, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers have only played together eight times this season. Myers has been plagued with injuries this season, finding himself on the disabled list twice already. His first stint was due to nerve irritation in his right arm. Myers was on the disabled list for 18 games the first time. He played relatively well this season, hitting .300 in ten games this 2018 season. Then, the core issue came. On April 28 against the Mets, Myers took a fastball down the middle for strike two and then motioned to the trainers. He was taken out of the game and made another trip to the disabled list with an oblique injury.
“It’s tough,” said Myers, who is expected to miss at least two weeks. “Especially when you come back, you start to swing it well, and all of a sudden something else pops.” Myers was clearly irked also saying, “The back has kind of been there… I thought that was something I could play through. That’s the way it goes sometimes. You push through stuff, and something else flares up. ”
Myers and Hosmer were supposed to make up the heart of the Padres’ lineup, however each only have 27 at-bats with the other in the lineup, where Myers is hitting .370 and Hosmer has an average of .296. The Padres really do miss Wil Myers.
Travis Jankowski was recently brought up in place of Myers and has played well. He is giving the team efficient at bats and has also given the Padres high quality defense. Obviously, Jankowski is not Wil Myers. Myers is one of the most athletic players on the team, and even though he was struggling in right, Jankowski does not put fear into the other team’s pitchers like Myers can. With Hunter Renfroe also on the disabled list, this situation gets more sticky.
Jose Pirela was the team’s starting left fielder on Opening Day, but with Carlos Asuaje in a slump, Pirela could see more time at second base moving forward. Asuaje has just one hit with a batting average of .143 over the last seven days. However, in the last week, Pirela is struggling himself, hitting .125 with an OBP of just .222. Luis Urias, anyone?
With Manuel Margot as the everyday center fielder, the only other viable option is Franchy Cordero, who has been playing on the corners the last several days. He has taken his approach to a new level and has adjusted well in the past few weeks. He is walking more, which bodes well for his future.
Myers has excelled this year at hitting with runners in scoring position. He hit .300 with runners in scoring position (RISP) in 10 games thus far. Myers was also successful in the two-hole in 26 plate appearances, hitting .346. The team needs his stability back in the lineup, even if it does crowd the outfield situation.
Without Myers, Padres’ manager Andy Green had to find himself a new two-hole hitter. Eric Hosmer has stepped into that role and excelled. Hosmer hit two home runs over the weekend in Mexico, batting in the two-hole. It looks like he likes that spot in the order. Bringing in Myers in and around Hosmer will only equal more wins for the team. For the time being, the Padres will probably play inconsistently, especially when it comes down to production from the offense.
The most we can do is hope for a speedy recovery from Wil Myers and stay above the water until then.
Get well, Wil.