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Green frustrated with Solarte's lack of WBC playing time
By JOSE M. ROMERO
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) San Diego Padres manager Andy Green is unhappy Yangervis Solarte has not seen much playing time with Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic.
Solarte has gotten just one at-bat, appeared in three games and scored two runs.
"The only frustrating part about the WBC is when you send one of your best players, and they function just as a pinch runner," Green said Thursday. "I know he loves representing his country, loves being at Petco (Park) in front of the home fans, I know it's been a tremendous opportunity for him. From my perspective, guy's probably going to hit third, fourth or fifth for us in the lineup and has had one at-bat in the last 10 days, has pinch run twice. That's not exactly how you want to see your players utilized at this point in time in spring training."
Green said Solarte will have to get back into game shape when he returns to camp.
"He's going to play with his country until the end and I hope it goes well for him, but he's not getting a lot of opportunity there," Green said.
Green said he respects the decisions of Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel, yet is frustrated.
"The guy pinch runs, and that's all he does. Coming off a hamstring issue in the past, that's like, an interesting utilization of him," Green said.
Solarte could move from third to second base before the season opens.
Green said the Padres won't have outfielder Alex Dickerson for the rest of spring training and the start of the season, due to a bulging disk in his back.
Dickerson played in one spring training game, experienced back stiffness and received an epidural injection this week, which will keep him out of action for at least three-to-four weeks.
"He's kind of on active rest for the next few weeks," Green said. "We're happy it's not surgery."
San Diego also is without outfielder Manny Margot, catcher Austin Hedges and infielder Ryan Schimpf. Margot (knee soreness) and Schimpf (oblique) are a few days from playing, and Hedges (hamstring injury) is to start Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Dickerson out, Jabari Blash could make the opening-day roster. Blash entered Thursday with a .308 batting average and the team lead in homers (five) and RBIs (13).
"He worked really hard last year and this offseason to get ready for the chance this year to get a lot of at-bats in the big leagues," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said of Dickerson. "It's going to be a long season anyway, so hopefully he's able to get the low back situation straightened out and he's able to go out and play after the six-week period or so and he's able to have a nice year for us."
Green also plans to try utility infielder Allen Cordoba in the outfield and give infielder Cory Spangenberg a few looks in there during workouts.
Updated March 16, 2017