If the San Diego Padres make a defensive change, it could open the door for more possibilities.
A few days ago, San Diego Union-Tribune Padres’ writer Jeff Sanders tweeted out photos of Wil Myers taking ground balls at third base during batting practice. No big deal, Myers does it often, however, Sanders pointed out that he was receiving a lot of extra coaching this go around.
MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell wrote up a story yesterday with quotes from Myers and Andy Green about the idea of Myers moving to third base. Green shrugged it off as nothing more than an idea in the “infancy” stage and the Padres just playing around with one of their more athletic players.
This is something that would draw me into a Padres game, even if they go another month of winning just five games.
It’s been well-noted that Wil Myers is bored in the outfield. Also, the eyeball test shows a player who, often times, looks out of position in the outfield. Despite both of those statements, the advanced metrics speak very highly of Wil Myers as an outfielder, giving him a combined five Defensive Runs Saved and a 5.3 UZR rating.
Myers has experience playing third base in the minor leagues. It’s not a lot of experience but he’s not foreign to the position. Christian Villanueva has been improving defensively, however, that .176 average, .238 OBP, and .552 OPS against right-handed pitchers is brutal. If Myers is able to play more third base, that allows the Padres to use an outfield of Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero, and either Hunter Renfroe or Franmil Reyes (looking ahead to 2019).
This wouldn’t solve the outfield situation but it’s a help. If the experiment fails, oh well. This season is far gone, so let’s get weird and see if something sticks. By implementing the change now, the Padres can see if Myers is workable at the position and make a decision now as to whether or not a third baseman needs to be signed this offseason.