Padres seek leadoff hitter with Myers out

Padres seek leadoff hitter with Myers out

LOS ANGELES -- The Padres continue to audition leadoff hitters as they attempt to fill the void left when Wil Myers landed on the disabled list last week with tendinitis in his left wrist.

On Friday, the first game of a three-game series against the Dodgers, first baseman Yangervis Solarte got his first start of the season atop the lineup.

Solarte is hitting .273 this season with a .328 on-base percentage and has two home runs and 22 RBIs.

Since Myers last played -- March 10 against the D-backs -- the Padres are 3-6 and have averaged 3.1 runs per game in that stretch.

More notably, the leadoff hitters they've used in Myers' absence, Abraham Almonte and Cory Spangenberg, have gone a combined 4-for-35 with 14 strikeouts.

"These are lesser service time players and it's a hard transition from the Minor Leagues to the big leagues. We don't expect them to do Rickey Henderson-type leadoff work," manager Bud Black said. "But they're capable of getting on base.

"The last couple of games, Spangy has had a couple of day has had a couple of tough games and Almonte has had some tough games."

This isn't the first time Solarte has hit leadoff. He did so last season after he was acquired from the Yankees in the July trade that sent Chase Headley to New York.

"We're taking a guy [Solarte] who has proven it at the big league level, even if it's only one-year plus. The on-base skills, his at-bats have been great, he's been as consistent as anyone through the year," Black said. "We'll see what he can do, to give the lineup a little different look since we're scuffling."

The Padres averaged 4.6 runs per game with Myers atop the order. Myers began the season in center field but had moved to first base when Yonder Alonso went on the DL.

But the overall offensive production is down in May, as the team is averaging four runs a game, compared to 4.57 runs per game in April.

Myers was leading the team in hits and runs at the time he was injured, as he used his left hand to plant against the ground while running the bases in a game against the D-backs on May 10. Overall, Myers is hitting .291 with five home runs and 19 RBIs.

"He was doing a good job the last couple of weeks before the injury," Black said of Myers, who is still at the point where he's resting and doing therapy on his wrist. "He was embracing it [batting leadoff] and doing a nice job."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.