Villanueva is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Angels. Villanueva will head to the bench for a breather following a string of three consecutive starts. Wil Myers will pick up his second straight start at the hot corner, hitting second. With Myers slated to see consistent playing time at the hot corner down the stretch, Villanueva could see his playing time take a hit.
Villanueva is set to see time at second base and shortstop in the near future, Dennis Lin of The Athletic San Diego reports. He has been taking groundballs at second base for a while now, and manager Andy Green said Monday that Villanueva will also get a chance to play shortstop before the season comes to a conclusion. Over his career, Villanueva has logged 100 games at third base and three games apiece at first base and shortstop. The Padres deployed Wil Myers at third base Monday and have a couple prized infield prospects (Fernando Tatis and Luis Urias) who could be knocking on the door of the big leagues next season, so Villanueva's chances of remaining in the mix will increase if he can display some defensive versatility. Myers playing third base over Villanueva makes sense for a variety of reasons, so Villanueva's playing time could take a hit over the rest of the season if he can't prove passable in the middle infield.
Villanueva went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in Sunday's 9-3 win over the Phillies. Villanueva started his second consecutive game against a righty after being situated on the bench in the previous two contests. There was concern that Cory Spangenberg would eat into the slugger's playing time at third, but the latter appears to be settling in as the club's primary option at second base. Villanueva is batting just .231 on the year, but he has turned things around by going 10-for-27 with a homer in eight August starts.
Villanueva is out of the lineup against the Phillies on Friday. Villanueva will remain on the bench for the second straight game after starting the previous 14. In his place, Cory Spangenberg will start at third base while Carlos Asuaje mans the keystone.
Villanueva went 2-for-4 with a solo home run Friday in a loss to the Cubs. Villanueva cut Chicago's lead to one in the fourth inning with a solo blast over the left field wall, but the Cubs would ultimately secure the victory. Prior to Friday's matchup, Villanueva hadn't homered since June 15 (11 games), though he's gone deep 20 times through 97 contests in 2018.
|vs RAY (CAREER)||1/4||.250||0||0||0||0||3|