Forearm better, Myers returns to lineup

May 18th, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- Half of the Padres' usual 1-2 punch atop the order was back on the lineup card for Tuesday's series opener against San Francisco.

Feeling no ill effects from left forearm tightness on Sunday, first baseman Wil Myers made his return -- and the Padres' fanbase took a collective sigh of relief. But he batted leadoff -- as opposed to his typical spot at No. 2 -- because center fielder Jon Jay remains sidelined with right-shoulder soreness.

Myers, who was scratched from Sunday's lineup minutes before the first pitch, feels as though the club's decision to rest him paid off -- especially given Monday's off-day.

"When I'm in the lineup, I feel like the lineup can be better," Myers said. "But other than that, I think it was good for me to just take those days off just to get healthy."

For the Padres, who have four infielders on the disabled list already, Myers' clean bill of health served as some much-needed good news on the injury front.

Myers said he felt better on Monday anyway, but the extra day off -- during which he didn't have to test his forearm (he went to the movies and watched "Captain America: Civil War" instead) -- certainly didn't hurt.

"It was just tight, man," Myers said. "When I was finishing my swing, it was tough for me to hold onto the bat with that tightness."

The tightness is gone, but the soreness in Jay's shoulder is not. Jay sustained the injury in Milwaukee while diving for a fly ball. He hasn't played since Friday.

"I've dealt with it a bunch of times where it was sore and the next day it's fine," Jay said. "The next morning, it was just different. That's when I knew there was something going on."

Manager Andy Green said a DL stint is possible for Jay, but he's "hopeful" that won't be the case. Nonetheless, Jay will likely be absent for the next couple days.

In Jay's stead, Travis Jankowski will continue to play center field, which he views as a chance to make a name for himself.

Against a tough lefty in Madison Bumgarner, Green elected to bat the left-handed-hitting Jankowski ninth, putting starter Colin Rea in the No. 8 spot. It's the first time Green has chosen not to bat his pitcher ninth.

For Jankowski, the batting order position doesn't matter much. He still views his role as a leadoff man -- especially given the fact that Myers, typically the No. 2 hitter, is positioned directly behind him in the order.

"You want to turn that lineup around; you're the second leadoff hitter," Jankowski said. "It's the same approach as a leadoff guy, you're trying to get to the top of the lineup and get the guys who are 2-3-4 in the lineup some at-bats and some RBI opportunities."