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Padres being 'cautious' with spring injuries

MLB.com @AJCassavell

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Padres catcher Austin Hedges could resume full baseball activities early next week, as he recovers from a tight left hamstring.

Manager Andy Green said the Friars are "going to be cautious" with Hedges, given the timing of his injury in early March.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Padres catcher Austin Hedges could resume full baseball activities early next week, as he recovers from a tight left hamstring.

Manager Andy Green said the Friars are "going to be cautious" with Hedges, given the timing of his injury in early March.

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The hamstring tightness, which came about on a first-inning grounder Thursday, puts a damper on an otherwise solid spring for the 24-year-old backstop. Hedges was batting .474 and playing outstanding defense behind the plate.

On the other end of the injury spectrum, Alex Dickerson (back stiffness) and Ryan Schimpf (left oblique tightness) took part in the majority of Friday's workout.

Dickerson, who has yet to play in a game this spring after his back tightened up on him during the first weekend of camp, will likely debut Saturday against Milwaukee.

As for outfielder Manuel Margot (sore left knee), the Padres asked him to rate his pain on a scale of 1-10 Friday morning. Margot responded by saying "0.5."

Video: Top Prospects: Manuel Margot, OF, Padres

"He feels it a little bit, but not so much he could even qualify it as a 1," Green said. "We're being cautious with these guys. There's no sense in early March pushing these guys. He's going to have ample opportunity to get at-bats."

Richard preps for increased workload

The Padres re-signed Clayton Richard during the offseason with the idea that he would help anchor their rotation. Thing is, Richard hasn't pitched more than 68 innings since he threw 218 2/3 for the Padres in 2012.

Following his second outing of the spring, Richard wasn't about to put a projection on his workload. But -- after spending time in the bullpen and on the disabled list over the past four years -- he's certainly preparing for an increase in 2017.

Video: SD@LAA: Richard picks Calhoun off first base

"I can't throw 200 innings tomorrow," said Richard, who allowed two runs on three hits in Friday's 4-2 win over the Angels. "It's little things that if we put them all together consistently over the course of the season, it will lead to an outcome like that. ... To artificially put a number that I'm aiming at -- I don't have that. I want to be there for our team deep into games every fifth day. Where that takes us, we'll see."

Opening Day options

The Padres' Opening Day starter discussion could linger late into camp. At least three pitchers -- and possibly more -- are vying to take the ball April 3 at Dodger Stadium, according to Green.

The Padres skipper named Richard, Jhoulys Chacin and Jered Weaver when asked which pitchers are in contention for the Opening Day nod. Perhaps predictably, they're also the three hurlers who Green has seemingly penciled into his rotation already. (Approximately six other pitchers are in contention for the other two starting jobs.)

Video: SF@SD: Chacin strikes out Marerro in the 1st

"Ultimately that's a one-day start that a lot of people build up as a big deal," Green said. "In our case this year, I don't think it's going to be a big deal."

Weaver made seven Opening Day starts for the Angels from 2008-15. Chacin and Trevor Cahill, meanwhile, have made one apiece.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres