Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Andy Green pulls no punches when it comes to Manuel Margot. The Padres' manager thinks the 22-year-old rookie center fielder is a special talent. And as strong as Margot is playing this season, well, "There's more in there," said Green.
"He's really good already," Green said recently. "And I think he's going to grow because he's committed to being as good as he can be."
In a year packed with talented rookies, Margot received national recognition Monday when he was named the National League Player of the Week for July 24-30.
Margot had six multihit games in seven games last week at Petco Park. He went 14-for-28 with two doubles, a triple, three home runs, a stolen base, six RBIs and six runs scored. As with any other week of the season, Margot also turned in several defensive gems.
The week raised Margot's season batting average from .258 to .281.
On the season, Margot has 11 doubles, four triples, eight homers, 11 steals, 23 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 72 games. He missed 29 games while on the disabled list from May 25 to June 26 with a calf strain, and he recently returned from a three-game absence for paternity leave.
Margot was acquired by the Padres from the Boston Red Sox on Nov. 13, 2015 -- along with second baseman Carlos Asuaje, shortstop prospect Javier Guerra and left-handed pitching prospect Logan Allen -- in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel.
Besides great physical tools, Green believes Margot possesses attributes that make him special.
"He doesn't give up at-bats," said Green. "He goes up there with a purpose. He wants to excel. And he hits outside pitches, which helps him avoid long slumps. Outside is where pitchers want to go."
"I think he's going to be quite a good player for a long time."
<>Left-hander Clayton Richard
Richard allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings Sunday to suffer his fifth straight loss. Richard (5-12) leads the NL in losses, hits allowed (175) and earned runs allowed (80). Over his past four starts, Richard has given up 24 runs (23 earned), 44 hits and seven walks in 23 1/3 innings -- an ERA of 8.87.
Outfielder Jabari Blash
Blash was optioned back to Triple-A El Paso on Sunday to create an opening on the 25-man roster for the return of Solarte and Hedges. Blash was 11-for-24 in a seven-game hitting streak after San Diego recalled him from El Paso on July 14. But he was only 3-for-23 since July 21 with seven strikeouts.
Infielder Yangervis Solarte
Solarte was activated from the disabled list Sunday. He had been out with a left oblique strain since June 21. At the time he went on the disabled list, Solarte was the Padres' hottest hitter, going 11-for-28 (.393) with five home runs in a seven-game hitting streak. He had also hit safely in 11 of 12 games. Solarte started a game at shortstop during his two-game rehab trip to El Paso and San Diego manager Andy Green said he might play shortstop as well as second and third for the remainder of the season as the Padres' most versatile infielder.
Center fielder Austin Hedges
Hedgeswas also activated Sunday from the 10-day concussion disabled list. But he hasn't played since July 10 due to a head injury that at first was described as "sub-concussive" then was relabeled a concussion. Hedges was officially placed on the disabled list until July 16.