Guzman blasting away, even off the bench

Guzman blasting away, even off the bench

Guzman blasting away, even off the bench
SAN DIEGO -- It's not surprising at all to see Padres outfielder Jesus Guzman having a big second half at the plate, though it's in a much different role than he was in last season.

Guzman had a three-run home run in the third inning of the Padres' 4-3 victory over the Rockies, a hit that allowed his second-half batting average to climb to .297. Overall, Guzman is hitting .255 in 2012. Last season, Guzman, who was recalled from Triple-A Tucson in June, hit a blistering .320 in the second half.

This season, Guzman has more at-bats (255 to 247), though he's played less, getting most of his starts against left-handed pitching.

According to manager Bud Black, Guzman has handled this role well.

"I think Guzzie is so adaptable and flexible on a daily basis, that whether he's playing a lot or not playing, Guzzie makes the most of it," Black said. "When he doesn't start a number of games regularly, he still is able to adapt and perform. I've got confidence in him."

Guzman knows that he could be called upon at any point and any position. He's appeared in 19 games at first base this season, three at second base and 48 games in the outfield. He also has 10 pinch-hits, including two home runs.

"I've got to be ready for every situation, no matter what," Guzman said. "And I know that even if I'm not playing for a while, I've still got to work hard every day. I've been watching a lot of video with Phil [the Padres hitting coach, Phil Plantier] and we talk a lot during games. That's helped me a lot."