Padres notes: Cronenworth’s contributions; Alfaro trending toward starting; Myers gets it

Jake Cronenworth does a lot with less than he would like.

“I mean, it stinks (when) I didn’t have a hit,” Cronenworth said Saturday afternoon. “You want to try to get at least one hit per game. But to find a way, even when you’re not getting a hit, not scoring a run, or driving in a run, to create some type of offense, you’re still producing when you’re not producing. You find a way to do it. Even though you may not have gotten the result you wanted, you still had quality at bat.

In a season in which he entered Saturday’s game 31 points shy of his first two major league seasons, Cronenworth still ranks second on the Padres with 70 points (four shy of Manny Machado ) and second with 59 RBIs (second behind Machado by eight).

Cronenworth is 13 years olde in the major leagues in runs scored and tied for 30e in the RBIs while ranking 112e batting average (.239). This is due in part to his .341 on-base percentage, which ranks 55th. Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber is the only player with a lower batting average than Cronenworth to score more runs — and he has one more while hitting 23 more homers.

Cronenworth’s batting average and on-base percentage are significantly higher with runners in scoring position, runners in scoring position with two out, and in late and close situations. He also has at least one run in 15 games without a hit and has one RBI in six games without a hit.

“He’s just a tough guy who comes out strong in the big situations, and I always think there’s more to him,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We saw a stretch where we were really hot. I wouldn’t tell him another one of those is coming here.

Alfaro on the right track

Jorge Alfaro and Melvin said the receiver’s pregame practices over the past two days have gone well and he should be behind the plate on Sunday.

Alfaro hasn’t played since quitting Monday’s game after seven innings with a recurrence of right knee inflammation that caused him to miss four games earlier this summer. Austin Nola started his fourth straight game on Saturday and his sixth in the last seven.

no problem

Melvin spoke to Wil Myers on Friday afternoon about his role going forward.

“He made it easy for me,” Melvin said. “…I didn’t need to explain to him. As soon as I walked in he knew what exercise was and he was great about it.

Myers started the season as the Padres’ daily right fielder and earlier this month started (at first base and center field) in his seven of his first nine games off the injured list. But he sat out for a fourth consecutive game on Saturday.

His role has been reduced, for now, to pinch shots against left-handed relievers and starts in center field (or elsewhere) against left-handers.

“I don’t swing the bat super well,” Myers said, “(Trent Grisham) swings the bat well, a lot of guys swing the bat well. So that’s what it is. When I get to swing it, I I might have more bats. But it’s okay.

Myers practiced in left field and could play first base or right field games. Jurickson Profar has started the last 25 games in left field. Soto has started all 10 games since joining the Padres.

“We used the same range…” Melvin said. “I think someone will need a day off at some point.”

Drury paste

One of the guys keeping Myers on the bench is Brandon Drury.

Both are right-handed hitters and play multiple positions, and Melvin said he initially envisioned Drury getting most of his playing time against left-handers after the Padres acquired him in a trade on May 2. August with Cincinnati. But Drury has started every game since joining and isn’t out of the lineup if he keeps hitting like he came in Saturday (.258/.333/.613 with two doubles and three homers in nine games).

“I’m surprised he’s only gotten into fifth place right now with such high productivity as he has been,” Melvin said.

Melvin actually likes Drury in fifth place. That allows the Padres to alternate hands in the lineup against right-handers with slugger Josh Bell batting fourth and Cronenworth batting left-handed batting sixth.

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