ATLANTA -- While the Padres have had their best five-series stretch in recent years, they have a few big names close to rejoining the team.Outfielders Franchy Cordero and William Myers began their rehab assignments for Triple-A El Paso on Thursday, while Joey Lucchesi made the start for Class A Advanced
ATLANTA -- While the Padres have had their best five-series stretch in recent years, they have a few big names close to rejoining the team.
Outfielders Franchy Cordero and William Myers began their rehab assignments for Triple-A El Paso on Thursday, while Joey Lucchesi made the start for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, with rehabbing Austin Hedges behind the plate.
Cordero and Myers both played six innings, leaving the game in the top of the seventh. Cordero, playing in left field, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk while Myers, playing in right field, went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and strikeout.
Meanwhile, Lucchesi and Hedges were lights-out with Lake Elsinore. The lefty Lucchesi went four innings without surrendering a hit, tallying six strikeouts. Hedges went 2-2 with a double and a sacrifice fly before being taken out in the eighth inning.
Cordero has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 28 due to a right forearm strain, while Myers is working to return from a strained left oblique he sustained in April.
"We've got guys out in all of our affiliates right now," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We have a lot of bodies out getting healthy, which is a good thing, guys we've missed and look forward to getting back."
The plan once these players return, especially the outfield duo of Cordero and Myers, is still up in the air. With five outfielders on the Padres' active roster, changes will have to be made.
"[Cordero and Myers] will be given an opportunity to play on a pretty consistent basis, but you also want to make sure they're healthy and that [we aren't] pushing them too fast or too soon," Green said. "We'll have to make some roster decisions, but those decisions will come as those guys get healthy."
Cordero could be back relatively quickly. Myers, however, could need a little more work on the rehab assignment.
"He's missed well over a month, hasn't played since April, so he is going to need some at-bats before he's ready to go," Green said. "So this isn't imminent, we aren't going to see him in a couple of days. We need to give him some time to find his rhythm and check in with him after every game."
This gives the current set of outfielders on the active roster more time to make their case. Manuel Margot, in particular, has made a strong case, hitting .450 in his last six games while hitting toward the bottom of the lineup.
"Letting a guy who has searched so hard for his stride this year, and now that he has finally found it, he'll stay down in that seven or eight [spot]," Green said. "He's starting to swing the bat well. He's been a run producer for us down there and has had some big hits for us."
For the season, Cordero has hit .237 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 40 games, while Myers has hit .300 with a homer and three RBIs in 10 games.
Meanwhile, Lucchesi has been out due to a right hip strain, and Hedges is rehabbing from right (throwing) elbow tendinitis. They both expect to return soon, possibly as early as next week, according to Green.
"We are going to see how Joey comes out in this one, then decide if he needs another one," Green said. "With him, it's not just how did he feel, but also how did he throw, does he look ready to go back to the big leagues and pitch, does he need another outing at maybe a higher level?"
For Hedges it's a bit more simple.
"If things go well today, he'll have a day off tomorrow, then play three in a row," Green said. "Then we'll try to catch him back-to-back games, then move forward from there."
The Padres will take a day-to-day approach with all four returning players.
"We kind of have their path drawn up, but it's going to be every single night checking in to see how they feel and how they perform and give them the opportunity to move to how they are feeling," Green said.
Tori McElhaney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.