Flexibility creates options for Green, Padres

Solarte has ability to play all infield positions

Flexibility creates options for Green, Padres

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

Players who can play more than one position have given Padres manager Andy Green great flexibility recently. And he has put it to good use.

Nine of the 13 position players on the Padres' current 25-man roster can play at more than one spot.

Yangervis Solarte can -- and has -- played all four infield positions now that he has added shortstop to his repertoire. Cory Spangenberg can play second, third and left. Jose Pirela can play second and left. Hector Sanchez can play first and catcher.

Rule 5 Draft pick and rookie Allen Cordoba has played short, left, second and third this season.

Dusty Coleman has in the past played all four infield positions. Matt Szczur has played all three outfield positions. I'm sure Manuel Margot could do it if asked ... and Hunter Renfroe has done it before. First baseman Wil Myers could play outfield in a pinch.

The Padres have had as many as four players play multiple positions in the same game this season. Solarte and Spangenberg each played two positions in Saturday night's 5-2 win at Pittsburgh. That is more of the norm than a rarity.

The Padres' options grew with the decision to use Solarte at shortstop, creating a number of new double-switch options for Green involving second, third, short and left. Solarte at short also adds another bat in the middle of the lineup.

It has also created a spot -- as well as a need -- for the smooth fielding Coleman, who has been an offensive surprise thus far.

The 30-year-old journeyman had been hitting only .209 in 88 games with Triple-A El Paso -- although he showed pop with 14 homers -- when the Padres promoted him on July 24. In his first nine games, Coleman is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with two doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored.

NOTEWORTHY

• RHP Dinelson Lamet is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA over his past three outings, lowering his season ERA from 6.40 to 5.12. Over the past three games, the rookie has allowed four runs on 11 hits and six walks with 18 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. Pittsburgh is the first team the 25-year-old has faced twice in his 12-start Major League career, which began on May 25. In those two starts, Lamet allowed two runs on three hits and five walks with 12 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings, while taking a no-hitter into the fifth and fourth innings of those respective starts.

• LHP Brad Hand has now made 21 straight scoreless appearances covering 21 1/3 innings, during which he has allowed 13 hits and two walks while striking out 27 -- with at least one strikeout in each of his past 13 outings. He has also converted all six save opportunities since taking over as the Padres' main closer, and has eight saves on the season.

• Myers was 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and a walk for three RBIs and a run scored in the Padres' 5-2 win at Pittsburgh on Saturday night, ending a string of 13 straight hitless at-bats and a 2-for-27 slump over the previous eight games. Saturday marked the first time since June 16 (a span of 40 games) that Myers had multiple RBIs in a game and the first time since July 16 that he had two hits in a game.

• Solarte is 4-for-10 with a home run the past two nights in Pittsburgh after going 0-for-10 in his first three games since returning from a 33-game stay on the disabled list.