No matter what they read or see in the newspaper, fans have to really believe the San Diego Padres are concerned with the wrist of their 24-year old slugging outfielder. Wil Myers has a history of wrist issues, and this latest injury could be the sign of a chronic problem.
Baseball players' hands and wrists are very important to their swings. If their hands and wrists are not healthy in those areas, they cannot successfully power their bats through the strike zone. Putting a good swing on the ball is very important in determining success for hitters. It is as simple as that.
Myers's current wrist injury has sidelined him for nearly one month. The latest tests show that swelling has subsided, but Myers still has a bone spur on his wrist that from time to time will bother the tendon sheath. Surgery might be a possible long-term solution but, obviously, not during the season.
Myers was spotted working with coaches Dave Roberts and Jose Valentin on his sliding. Myers hurt the wrist originally on Mothers' Day with a slide into third base against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Myers has a propensity to drag his wrist down at his side while sliding into bases, and that needs to be fixed. It is a very typical way to slide, but if Myers is hurting himself in the process, it should be altered. The coaches were working with him to raise his hands in the air while he slides in order to reduce the likelihood of re-injuring that hurt left wrist.
Changing his slide is a tough task for a ball player the age of Myers. He has traditionally slid that way into bases, and to change his slide in the heat of battle will not be easy. Old habits kick in when a ball player is playing the game. We will see if Myers is able to make the adjustment.
Upon his return, another issue will simply be where Padres manager Bud Black decides to play him. Myers looked really comfortable at first base, but the Padres surely need Yonder Alonso in their lineup. Alonso is currently leading the team in hitting and provides a solid left-handed bat for the Padres. First base is not a likely spot for Myers to play everyday.
Myers could slide back into the center-field spot, but, obviously, the team's defense will struggle with that move. Will Venable has flashed a golden glove while playing center field on most nights for the Padres recently. Taking him out of the lineup will be tough.
The other issue with Myers in center field is Melvin Upton, Jr., who appears on track to return in a matter of weeks. Upton is an excellent center fielder and is sure to get some playing time out there. Myers could be playing all over the field when it is all said and done. MLB.Com reporter Corey Brock even reported that Myers told Black he could play some second base for the team if needed.
The Padres infield and outfield are both crowded. There are so many pieces, and with the return of Upton and Myers from their injuries, things are going to get even more complicated. Jedd Gyorko, Will Middlebrooks, Yangervis Solarte, and Cory Spangenberg are all vying for playing time, and Black will have to pick a name out of a hat in order to make his lineup on a daily basis.
One would have to assume that the Padres will be active in the trade market soon. A deal in which the Padres package current 25-man roster players for an upgrade somewhere seems likely. Anything can happen, and the team must choose wisely in upgrading while not upsetting any chemistry that has been developed by this new squad of players.
Myers and his wrist are very important to the Padres' future. The team dealt some very good prospects to obtain the former American League Rookie of the Year. The Padres should remain cautious with his wrist and not rush Myers back too early. He does absolutely no good to the team if he cannot perform 100 percent. Padres fans eagerly await the return of Wil Myers. Hopefully, that will be very soon.