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Padres place Myers on DL with nerve irritation

Outfielder not expected to miss more than 10-day minimum
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres placed outfielder Wil Myers on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm before Wednesday's game against the Rockies at Petco Park, though they're optimistic he'll return after the minimum 10-day stint.

Myers left Monday's game with arm pain that originated in his right triceps. He underwent X-rays after the game that revealed no structural damage. The following day, he was evaluated by an arm specialist and diagnosed with the nerve irritation.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Padres placed outfielder Wil Myers on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm before Wednesday's game against the Rockies at Petco Park, though they're optimistic he'll return after the minimum 10-day stint.

Myers left Monday's game with arm pain that originated in his right triceps. He underwent X-rays after the game that revealed no structural damage. The following day, he was evaluated by an arm specialist and diagnosed with the nerve irritation.

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"It's pretty uncomfortable to throw, pretty uncomfortable to hit," Myers said. "So right now, what's best is to give it a few days to get it back to where it needs to go."

Myers has been told that rest is the best path to recovery. He won't swing or throw for about a week, and if all goes according to plan, he'll resume baseball activity then.

"It's early in the season," Myers said. "If I can use these days to get this right, get my back right, to finish the last 148 games completely healthy, it's the right move."

Manager Andy Green considered keeping Myers on the roster, with a three-game series in Houston this weekend. Myers is likely to resume hitting before he resumes throwing, and he could've been used as a designated hitter.

Instead, the long-term view took precedence.

"It's probably best to put him on the DL for a little bit and understand that … you can bring him back in nine days," Green said. "That's what I'm operating under the assumption of.

"But I've said it already this year: I'm done trying to project that stuff, because it's proved unfruitful. You just don't know. I'm hearing optimistic things."

Myers missed Saturday's game with lower back tightness, an injury that has since subsided. When he returned Monday, the arm ailment arose during batting practice. At the time, it wasn't serious enough for Myers to ask out of that game's lineup.

But the injury worsened when Myers made two throws to the infield. In the fifth inning, Myers' discomfort became plainly visible in right field, as he held his throwing arm at an angle over his chest. The pain isn't so obvious now, he says.

"It is getting better," Myers said. "Today is better than yesterday, yesterday is better than the day before. For me, if I can continue to build up and get better each day, that's a victory."

Many in the organization view this as a critical year for Myers, who has shown flashes of excellence with the Padres, but has too often fallen into prolonged slumps at the plate. He was off to a nice start with two hits Friday and a homer in the first inning Monday.

"You never want to go on the DL, especially this early in the season," Myers said. "I worked super hard to get ready for this season. Any time you go on the DL, it's never fun. I do feel good with where I'm at mentally -- go through this, get right, come back strong, finish the season."

The Padres recalled right-hander Phil Maton from Triple-A El Paso to take Myers' place on the roster.

Worth noting
• Following his three-homer performance Tuesday night, Christian Villanueva became the first Padres third baseman to start back-to-back games this season. He's been locked into a battle for playing time with Chase Headley and Cory Spangenberg. (Spangenberg was also in the lineup Wednesday, playing left field for the first time this year, including Spring Training.)

Green sounded as though he plans to give Villanueva regular opportunities at third base, as long as he continues to earn it.

"That's a pretty loud statement yesterday, but the season is built on more than just one day and three swings of the bat," Green said. "I want to see him continue to step up and earn his opportunity. If he does that, it'll keep coming his way."

Video: Must C Classic: Villanueva homers thrice at Petco

• Outfielder Franchy Cordero is with the big league club as he continues to recover from a groin strain that sidelined him at the end of Spring Training. He's running and taking batting practice in San Diego, and he could begin a rehab assignment as early as this weekend. It's unclear where Cordero -- a roster tossup before his injury this spring -- will begin the season when healthy.

• Catcher Austin Hedges returned to the lineup after missing two games with tightness in his upper back. With a day game scheduled for Thursday, it's possible Hedges will be out of the lineup then.

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

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers