Speed at the top makes Padres dangerous

Speed at the top makes Padres dangerous

LOS ANGELES -- The Padres have strung Travis Jankowski, Manuel Margot and Wil Myers together in their batting order every day this season. Whether it's 9-1-2 or 1-2-3, expect that trend to continue.

Myers firmly believes there's no three-man stretch in baseball that causes more havoc on the bases. And they've backed that notion this week in Los Angeles.

"When you have speed, it dictates the situation," said Margot. "And it dictates the pressure that's on."

It's an unofficial number, but during the first two games of the season, Margot, Jankowski and Myers combined to take seven extra bases (counting steals and advancement on hits, errors and balls in the dirt).

"It's an exciting brand of baseball," said Padres manager Andy Green. "... [They] hit the ball around the yard, they can bunt, they can steal, Wil can drive it out of the ballpark. It's a fun top three of the order. The on-base element is going to be huge."

Schimpf brings in Myers

Counting Margot's 30 steals with Triple-A El Paso, the trio combined for 90 stolen bases last year.

"Those guys are very dynamic on the bases, but I tell them all the time I'm faster than them," Myers quipped. "I've got slow guys in front of me."

Myers has been clamoring for a race. He's not going to get one.

Green theorized Jankowski and Margot would be neck-and-neck, with Myers finishing third. Margot deferred to Jankowski, noting, "When I watch him, I think, 'This guy can fly.'"

Jankowski's a safe pick. He reached first base in 3.6 seconds after his bunt Monday against Clayton Kershaw. Only Raul Mondesi of the Royals has gotten down the line faster this season.

In any case, none of the three will make things easy on opposing defenses.

"We're going to be running a lot," Jankowski said. "It's going to cause a lot of havoc."

Friedrich strands runner

Friedrich's recovery slowed

Christian Friedrich was placed on the disabled list with a strained left lat muscle last week, and he has not yet resumed throwing. Friedrich -- who remains at the team's Spring Training complex in Peoria, Ariz. -- felt "tenderness" in his pitching elbow, according to Green. He will be evaluated by team doctors later this week before joining the club in San Diego this weekend.

"His shoulder, where he had the initial lat strain, feels good," Green said. "He's had some issue regarding the elbow. They don't think it's anywhere near the ligament, but he still doesn't feel quite right, and he's going to get checked out here in the next couple days."

Padres keep Hessler, Vargas

Righty starter Cesar Vargas and lefty reliever Keith Hessler cleared waivers on Wednesday and were outrighted to the Minor Leagues. Vargas will join Double-A San Antonio, while Hessler heads to Triple-A El Paso.

The duo was designated for assignment last week, when the Padres shuffled their roster ahead of Opening Day.

Vargas has struggled to regain his velocity since he sustained an elbow injury last May. If he can find his form from early last season -- in which he posted a 3.34 ERA over his first six starts -- the Padres view him as a longterm option in the rotation.

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.