Green, Padres brush off outside expectations

Green, Padres brush off outside expectations

LOS ANGELES -- Andy Green is aware of the external expectations for the Padres entering the 2017 season.

That doesn't mean the manager is giving those projections -- many of which have the Friars finishing toward the bottom of the National League -- a second thought.

"I don't care one bit," Green said. "That's the honest-to-God truth. I won't care one bit when they look at us and say we're going to win the World Series either. If you are swayed by what other people think, you're not going to be resolute to accomplish what's out there in front of you. I frankly don't care one bit."

It's long been a goal of Green's to limit outside noise in his clubhouse. This spring, he's framed talk of low expectations in a positive light, by theorizing that ultimately his team will need to ignore championship expectations in the same way.

All-Star first baseman Wil Myers -- at 26, a clubhouse leader on one of the youngest teams in baseball -- has bought in.

Myers enjoying first base

"Obviously, there's a lot of people out there counting us out," Myers said. "We're the underdog every single game. And we're going to go out there every single night, try to knock off the other team. ... I'm very excited about the players that we have. These young guys will be able to go out and get a full season under their belt. That is the most important thing for our future -- for these guys to get this experience, throw them right into the fire."

Green insisted there isn't a chip on the Padres' shoulder.

"We're OK with what the outside world thinks," he said. "But from an internal perspective, you want to be the team that goes out and surprises people. You want to be the team that has enough faith in what we have in the clubhouse to go out and win baseball games."

Worth noting

• Righty reliever Carter Capps is with the Padres in Los Angeles and will throw a simulated inning Tuesday. He'll likely throw another inning at Petco Park this weekend before he begins a rehab assignment.

• Two days after being named to his first Opening Day roster, top prospect Manuel Margot batted leadoff for the Padres on Opening Day against Clayton Kershaw.

Margot's RBI single in the 2nd

"He's a guy that isn't going to scare off, isn't going to shy away," Green said. "I'm sure there's butterflies in him -- there's butterflies in established veterans on Opening Day. But he's the kind of guy that's going to handle it and handle it well.

• Pitcher/catcher hybrid Christian Bethancourt will watch games from the bullpen for the time being, Green said. But he'll still be available to pinch-hit.

"I couldn't figure out where to put him on the lineup card, much less where he's going to spend the game," Green joked. "I need to make a Bethancourt column all for himself."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.