Padres outfielder Wil Myers will undergo surgery to remove a bone spur from his left wrist tomorrow, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune. It will likely be at least eight weeks before Myers is able to resume baseball activities, Lin adds, which seems to suggest that Myers could be sidelined through the end of August.
It’s been an injury plagued season for the 24-year-old Myers, who joined the Padres alongside Ryan Hanigan in a three-team trade that sent Joe Ross and Trea Turner to the Nationals while also sending Steven Souza, Burch Smith, Rene Rivera, Jake Bauers and Travis Ott to the Rays. Myers was tasked with playing center field despite not carrying a strong reputation even as a corner outfielder, and the results weren’t pretty, from a defensive standpoint (-9 DRS, -57 UZR/150 in 260 innings).
Myers, however, was acquired more for his bat than his glove, and he didn’t disappoint in that regard. In 159 plate appearances with the Padres this season, Myers has batted .277/.322/.459 with five homers, 10 doubles and a triple. When weighting that line to account for his home park, Myers has been about 22 percent above the league average (per wRC+ and OPS+).
Myers has missed significant time in both 2014 and 2015 with injuries to each of his wrists. A sprain and a fracture in his right wrist led to separate DL stints for Myers last season, and he’s been troubled by both inflammation and tendinitis in his left wrist this season — the same wrist that will now put him on the shelf for another two months or more. According to Lin, Myers has played through this bone spur since middle school, but it became increasingly problematic this year when a tendon near his pinkie finger became inflamed.
In Myers’ absence, the Padres will likely use a combination of Will Venable and Melvin Upton Jr. in center field, with Justin Upton and Matt Kemp handling corner outfield duties. The loss of Myers hurts the lineup, though it does allow interim manager Pat Murphy an avenue to insert a much-needed left-handed bat — Venable — into his lineup with regularity. Venable is hitting a strong .273/.331/.453 against righties this season and owns a lifetime .257/.322/.430 slash when holding the platoon advantage.
Myers did start five games at first base this season, so it shouldn’t be completely ruled out that hyper-aggressive GM A.J. Preller could pursue a trade for a center fielder, then use Myers at first base if he’s able to return in a timely fashion. Doing so could theoretically displace Yonder Alonso, who has enjoyed a .319/.406/.420 start to his season. Much of that is owed a to a .359 BABIP, however, as Alonso still offers little power, especially relative to his first base peers.