Roles growing for Padres' Rule 5 rookies

Roles growing for Padres' Rule 5 rookies

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

As the 2017 progresses, expect to see more playing time for the Padres three Rule 5 Draft rookies -- shortstop-left fielder Allen Córdoba, catcher Luis Torrens and right-handed pitcher Miguel Diaz.   

Over the past several days, Padres manager Andy Green has discussed the immediate future of the three youngsters who loom even larger in the Padres' long-range planning.   

Córdoba, 21, who is hitting .263 and has three home runs in the Major Leagues after never having played above Rookie-level ball, will be getting more starts at shortstop as well as in left field according to Green. Córdoba has started 12 of the Padres' first 43 games -- nine in left and three at short.   

Torrens, who turned 21 on May 2, is now regarded as the Padres No. 2 catcher to Austin Hedges. He made his sixth start of the season Thursday, although he is hitting only .087.   

Diaz, 22, could follow the 2016 lead of Luis Perdomo and be in the Padres' rotation by the end of the season, although his earned run average right now is 8.35 after 16 relief appearances. 

Green discussing the trio: 

On Córdoba: "Shortstop is his natural position. As a shortstop, there's a lot to learn between the Appalachian League and the Major Leagues. There are going to be some things that he doesn't know that (regular) Erick Aybar knows very well. What you want to see is solid fundamentals. There might be some hiccups on decision making things at times. Within Córdoba is the potential to be really good somewhere down the line. It gives him a chance to grow. His at-bats have been tremendously professional. Offensively, Córdoba is consistently making good decisions on pitches . . . which to swing on, which to take. It's easy to see his skill set and dream about the future. There's growth in between now and then."   

On Torrens: "Luis has positive attributes as a catcher. Jumping from (Single) A ball to the Major Leagues as a catcher, there is a lot to learn. He has some building blocks that bode well for the future. His job is to ease the workload on Austin Hedges. The other night catching with the game on the line on the road, for the first time . . . there was growth making decision after decision after decision. I see Torrens as the primary guy to ease the workload on Austin Hedges, not Hector Sanchez."   

On Diaz: "I think he'll have some starts before the season is over. We gave him a break over the last 10 days to work on some things with the pitching coaches. I liked how he took to it and responded (he worked three shutout innings against Milwaukee Tuesday night)."   

GAME NOTES    

Wil Myers has reached base in 18 straight games since April 29, the second-longest such streak of his career (his high is reaching base in 22 straight games as a rookie with Kansas City in 2013). But he has hit only .275 (19-for-69) during the on-base streak with three doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs. His batting average has slipped from .304 to .292.    

Hunter Renfroe hit his eighth homer of the season Thursday. It was also the rookie's third in his last five games. He has reached base in a career-long streak of nine games, going 8-for-29 (.276) with nine walks for a .472 on-base percentage. He also has three doubles, the three homers, eight RBIs and seven runs scored.   

Yangervis Solarte is 10-for-56 (.179) with two doubles, one homer, six RBIs, four runs scored and seven walks in 17 games since his last two-hit game on April 29.

Hector Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list since May 6 with a left foot contusion, will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso Friday. But when Sanchez is activated, he will not be the second catcher to Austin Hedges. Sanchez will be a pinch-hitter and an "occasional catcher," said Green.