SAN DIEGO -- William Myers put a month of struggles behind him with one loud swing Friday night. The Padres' All-Star first baseman could very well be turning a corner at the plate as the calendar flips to June.Sound familiar?There's a strange symmetry between the early portions of Myers' 2016
SAN DIEGO -- William Myers put a month of struggles behind him with one loud swing Friday night. The Padres' All-Star first baseman could very well be turning a corner at the plate as the calendar flips to June.
There's a strange symmetry between the early portions of Myers' 2016 and '17 campaigns, in which he started fast before slumping in May. The Padres certainly won't mind if the next chapter is the same. Last season, Myers went on to win the National League Player of the Month Award, breaking out of his May swoon with a club-record 11 June homers and a 1.194 OPS.
"Last eight or nine days, I've been real close to breaking out, but hit a line drive here or there that gets caught," Myers said. "In a season of baseball, when the luck's not on your side, it's hard to gain confidence. ... You've just got to keep going. It was nice to finally connect on one."
Myers batted just .214/.310/.378 in May, but had recently seen an uptick in the quality of his at-bats. It finally paid dividends Friday night, when he turned around a hanging slider from Mike Dunn and put it in the left-field seats.
In the eyes of manager Andy Green, the at-bat represented everything Myers needs to do to regain his groove. After falling behind, Myers laid off two breaking pitches at his ankles and a fastball outside to work the count full.
"Eventually if they're going to get you out, they're going to throw pitches in the zone that you can hit," Green said. "There's such a desire from him to do something impactful every single day that occasionally he gets over-amped and over-aggressive instead of waiting for the pitch he can drive and do damage with."
Myers says he learned plenty from the ebbs and flows of his 2016 campaign, his first fully healthy season in the big leagues. Namely, he's learned to keep his focus process-oriented rather than results-oriented.
"Everybody goes through that when you're struggling, trying to do a little too much," Myers said. "It's really the first time I've had an extended struggle [this season]. It's not like this is new to anyone. It's one of those things you've got to keep grinding and know it'll eventually turn around."
Perhaps most importantly, there's a foundation for Myers to build on. Last June, he posted one of the best months in club history. The challenge for Myers is sustaining that success. Even he acknowledges, "I've been kind of a streaky hitter throughout my career."
"The thing I want Wil to always remember is how good he is," Green said. "No matter what happens, in the cold stretches, he's going to come back. I think he has to keep that in his head at all times. That will relax him. And to me, when Wil's relaxed at the plate, he's unbelievable. He's as good a hitter as there is in the game."
• Right-hander Trevor Cahill (right shoulder strain) played catch from 60 feet Friday. The Padres haven't yet set a date for his first bullpen session.
• Center fielder Manuel Margot is out of his walking boot and in the early stages of his running progression as he recovers from a right calf strain.
• Left-hander Christian Friedrich threw two innings at extended spring training in Peoria, Ariz., on Friday. He's recovering from a strained left lat and elbow soreness, which has kept him out since Spring Training.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.