"We'll have to take a look and see where he is at when Opening Day comes," Bruce Bochy said. "We're going to use good judgment here. As much as (Nevin) might not like it, we're going to do the right thing."
This came just days after Bochy boasted about Nevin's play at first, "I fully expect Phil to be an above average first baseman."
Above average would be very good news for the Padres, who have gotten less than adequate defensive play from first the last two years from Ryan Klesko, who is moving to left field this season.
But now with an ailing shoulder, there is a major setback.
Nevin has been working this spring with Wally Joyner, who was regarded as one of the game's top defensive first basemen.
"Phil's got great hands," said Joyner. "He also has good eye-glove coordination. He naturally reads hops on throws. His hands are better than his feet, but he should be very good at first. The best thing about Phil is that he wants to do well at the position. He's asking for help and all the groundballs and throws he can get in practice."
As a converted third baseman, Nevin, who is considered more agile than Klesko, knows the importance of having a strong gloveman at first.
"You want your infielders to be comfortable when they throw," said Nevin. "Some infielders ... they reach such a strong bond with their first baseman that they make the throw even when they know the chances are slim.
"They throw the ball because they know that even if it's not a perfect throw, the first baseman is going to get it. That gives the fielders the confidence to try for great plays. They'll buck the odds because they know the first baseman is going to save them from a really bad throw.
"As a third baseman, I've played with some first basemen who were very good and some who were not that good. And it makes a huge difference. I want our fielders to have absolute confidence in me."
Now 33, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Nevin knows he has to learn the fundamentals of first ASAP, despite the injury. "I don't want to have the season start and have the other infielders thinking I'm still learning the position," he said. "There always are going to be ways to improve. But I want to be as solid as I can be entering the season."
Bochy believes that is exactly what will happen.
"He looked good over there," Bochy said. "We're not going to make any drastic changes. He'll be ready in about four weeks."
Nevin Out, But Confident At First
MadFriars Top Stories
MadFriars Daily Farm Report: August 23Gabriel Quintana collected six RBI over the first two innings as he led the Missions to a 6-0 win. Elsewhere Walker Lockett made his first Triple-A start, Phil Maton blows a save,…
MadFriarsYesterday at 10:49 PM
MadFriars' Interview: Boomer WhitePASCO, Wash. — This past year Dust Devils’ third baseman Boomer White was the best player, in one of the best baseball conferences in the nation. The Texas A&M Aggies had 13…
MadFriarsYesterday at 7:30 PM
MadFriars Q&A: Reggie LawsonAfter looking like a sure first rounder last summer, Reggie Lawson suffered a lat injury early this spring and was incredibly limited through the spring baseball season. That gave…
MadFriarsYesterday at 5:58 AM
MadFriars' Interview: G.K. YoungPASCO, Wash. –This past year G.K. Young, 21, was part of the ultimate underdog story as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (it’s a french rooster and pronounced shant-e-clears) beat…
MadFriarsMonday at 6:18 PM