Myers, Gyorko progressing for Padres

Versatile youngster looks sharp in debut at first, second baseman picks it up vs. RHPs

Myers, Gyorko progressing for Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Thoughts on two key Padres:

Wil Myers can play first base.

Jedd Gyorko might be ready to see more time at second.

Myers has looked comfortable -- as well as able -- in three starts at first base since Yonder Alonso went on the disabled list with a bone bruise to his right scapula.

Myers has handled almost 40 chances flawlessly, including making plays on high and low throws, making a diving stop and making a flip to pitcher covering first on a ball hit to the right side. In addition, Myers was 7-for-14 with three doubles and a home run during his three starts at first base in Arizona.

It's the second new position for the 24-year-old since the start of Spring Training. Myers learned to play center field in Spring Training, and he was San Diego's starting center fielder for the first 30 games of the season after making only two appearances in center earlier in his Major League career.

"I have no concerns with Myers at first," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He's versatile and athletic."

Myers also practiced at first base during Spring Training, and he routinely took ground balls at first and third base during the first month of the season.

Meanwhile, Gyorko, 26, was 4-for-7 with two doubles and a RBI over San Diego's past two games in Arizona, and he is 9-for-20 with three doubles, his first homer of the season, five RBIs and four runs in May.

Also, Gyorko has seven hits in his past 16 at-bats against right-handed pitchers after starting the season going 2-for-39 against right-handers.

From the scorebook

• Catcher Wil Nieves has cleared waivers and has opted for free agency rather than accept a Padres' assignment to Triple-A El Paso. Nieves was designated for assignment on May 4, when San Diego promoted catcher Austin Hedges from El Paso. Nieves' lone hit in 13 at-bats for the Padres was his decisive grand slam in his first start on April 12.

• Right-handed reliever Kevin Quackenbush has made five straight scoreless appearances -- including his first two-inning outing of the season to pick up the win Saturday night in Arizona -- lowering his ERA to 1.86.

• Both of the Padres' starting pitchers rehabbing from their second round of Tommy John surgery are throwing in Arizona. Left-hander Cory Luebke is throwing bullpen sessions. Josh Johnson has resumed throwing after experiencing soreness following a simulated game at Petco Park on May 1.