Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The Padres had a workable outfield plan developing in spring training.
Rookies Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe would be the starters in center and right, respectively. Alex Dickerson and Travis Jankowski would primarily platoon in left with Jankowski also spelling both Margot in center and Renfroe in right.
Dickerson, among the more polished Padre offensive weapons, would hit fourth in the order.
Fast forward to Friday's 50th game of the season in Washington, D.C.
The left fielder was infielder Cory Spangenberg. The center fielder was Allen Córdoba, who came to the Padres last winter as a shortstop in the Rule 5 draft. The right fielder was Matt Szczur, who the Padres acquired from the Cubs in a May 8 trade for minor league pitcher Justin Hancock.
Now, there is nothing wrong with Renfroe. In fact, he's been on a strong run recently. He was missing because manager Andy Green was giving him a scheduled - and much deserved - day off.
Just this morning, the Padres officially placed Margot on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to 5/25, with a strained right calf and in turn recalled Franchy Cordero from Triple-A El Paso.
Margot came out of Tuesday night's game with a calf injury, which progressed to the point where he was wearing a walking boot in the Padres' clubhouse Friday and has now joined Dickerson and Jankowski on the disabled list.
Dickerson has been out since spring training with a protruding disk in his back. He is running at full speed now at the Padres' year-round training facility in Arizona. But he has yet to play any games, which means his return could still be at least a month away. Green has said the absence of Dickerson in the middle of the Padres lineup has been the biggest negative impact on the Padres' offensive plans.
Jankowski has been out since April 23 with what turned out to be a fracture to the slow-healing navicular bone in his right foot. Since Jankowski's game is built on speed, this is a series injury. There is no time schedule for Jankowski's return.
Any team that loses three of its top four outfielders is going to feel the pain.
--1B Wil Myers is in a 2-for-28 slump since May 17 that has dropped his batting average from .298 to .265. He has 14 strikeouts during the 28 at-bats, including three, three-strikeout games. Myers' drought is actually much longer than the last eight games. Myers was hitting .360 after the game of April 22. He is .198 (24-for-121) since with six home runs, 18 RBIs, 41 strikeouts and 12 walks.
--3B Ryan Schimpf has three homers in his last four games capped by Friday night's solo homer off Nationals ace Max Scherzer. All three of the homers have been solo homers.
--2B Yangeris Solarte was hitless for the first time Friday since being moved from cleanup to the No. 2 spot in the Padres' order on Tuesday. He is still 5-for-12 in four games as the No. 2 hitter with six walks. That's a .417 batting average and a .611 on-base percentage.
--Rule 5 RHP Miguel Diaz struck out two in a scoreless inning Friday night and has allowed one run on five hits and five walks with seven strikeouts over 8 1/3 innings in his five most recent appearances - lowering his earned run average from 10.67 to 7.15.