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Myers' back flares up, considered day to day

But outfielder available to pinch-hit
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- Wil Myers' tight lower back kept him out of the Padres starting lineup Saturday for their series finale against Milwaukee, though manager Andy Green called the injury "a day-to-day thing at most."

Myers was lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning of Friday night's 8-6 loss to Milwaukee. He had been battling a nagging back issue since the end of Spring Training, though Myers couldn't pinpoint the precise moment the issue arose.

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SAN DIEGO -- Wil Myers' tight lower back kept him out of the Padres starting lineup Saturday for their series finale against Milwaukee, though manager Andy Green called the injury "a day-to-day thing at most."

Myers was lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning of Friday night's 8-6 loss to Milwaukee. He had been battling a nagging back issue since the end of Spring Training, though Myers couldn't pinpoint the precise moment the issue arose.

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"I've been working on it the last week and a half, two weeks," Myers said. "It's just kind of been lingering."

Hunter Renfroe took Myers' place in right field, though the righty-hitting Renfroe was scheduled to start anyway on Saturday with Brewers lefty Brent Suter on the mound. In reality, it was second baseman Carlos Asuaje taking Myers' place, as Jose Pirela would've otherwise shifted from left field to second base to clear room for Renfroe.

Myers was available to pinch-hit, but Green noted he'd prefer to avoid using him. Particularly with an off-day scheduled for Sunday, Green hoped to give Myers 48 hours off his feet.

Though Myers' injury popped up two weeks ago, Green said he didn't notice any ill effects until Friday's game -- in which Myers went 2-for-4. Even then, Myers lobbied hard to play Saturday.

"He fought me to play today, and we just thought better of it, considering what he felt like yesterday," Green said. "I'm glad he feels good. … But I told him I'm thinking about 159 more games, not just this game."

Myers is playing left and right field this season after spending two years at first base. He noted the position change may have had an effect on his back.

"I need to work on my posture a little more," Myers said. "Playing a new position kind of wears on you a little bit. I'll be fine, going to keep working to get it better. Before too long, it'll be gone."

Asuaje anchors second
For much of Spring Training, the Padres appeared destined to carry only one of their two lefty-hitting second basemen. That is, until Cory Spangenberg earned his roster place alongside Asuaje with an excellent performance of his own.

That said, there's no longer any doubt that Asuaje -- who has started all three games this season -- is the primary second baseman in San Diego.

"Carlos is the guy," Green said. "We came out of Spring Training thinking that the way he defended the field, the way he swung the bat, the energy he brings, it's a credit to him. ... We felt like Carlos was a guy we wanted in our lineup on a very consistent basis. He earned that."

Spangenberg, meanwhile, will receive a few spot starts at second base, but he'll play third base and left field, too.

Video: MIL@SD: Asuaje lifts RBI double to right in the 7th

Third base wide open
Three games into the 2018 season, the Padres have started three different third basemen. That rotation isn't likely to change any time soon.

"It's a little tough right now when you've got three guys, and you like different attributes about all of them," Green said. "It's slicing the pie relatively thin. For us, it's better to get them out there and get them in rhythm, so they have productive pinch-hit at-bats when those opportunities come, too."

Chase Headley started Thursday, and Spangenberg got the nod Friday (and homered in his first at-bat). Christian Villanueva, who started Saturday, is expected to get the bulk of the playing time against left-handed pitching.
 

Video: MIL@SD: Headley starts 5-4-3 DP with stellar defense "Whoever plays the most is predicated on who's having the biggest impact on games," Green said. "We want to win. It's not going to be predicated on age or experience or youth or where we're going as an organization. It's: Who plays well? We'll get them out there again."

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

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers