For days now, people hadn’t been looking at Jedd Gyorko as much as studying him, trying to read his face the way art experts peruse and contemplate the slight smile of the Mona Lisa.

Clearly, people inside and outside the Padres clubhouse are hoping for a sign of rookie anxiety from young Gyorko, some little facial tic or dart of the eyes or break in the otherwise even tone of his voice.

Nothing. Not a wit of a glimmer of a trace of a hint.

So you kind of have to take Gyorko at his word, have to believe him when he says repeatedly that he’s not a bundle of nerves, not even close. Even if he has been thrust into the baseball spotlight, introduced to major league baseball in no less than New York City and immediately placed in high-pressure situations, Jedd’s Jedd.


“I’ve always been a really calm guy,” said the 24-year-old. “I just really pay attention to the game.”

Gyorko surely will play in bigger big-league games – his second one comes Wednesday night against the New York Mets -- but he’s gotten past the only first one he’ll have to play. Even the most veteran of major league players never seem to forget their major league debut, which Gyorko was quite happy to get “out of the way” on Monday at Citi Field.

“A little bit,” said Gyorko, asked right after the 11-2 loss on Opening Day if he felt any of the butterflies that most people would expect. “I thought there’d be more than there was, which is good.”

You really couldn’t imagine much more being placed on a rookie in the first few innings of his major league career, both at the plate and in the field, where Gyorko played both second and third.

Whereas a lot of teams and managers might want to gradually let a rookie work his way into the lineup, the Padres and Bud Black didn’t have that luxury with Chase Headley and Logan Forsythe on the disabled list, although you get the feeling that Gyorko had earned the second-base job in spring training. Certainly, Gyorko didn’t mind the start on Opening Day, batting directly behind cleanup Carlos Quentin.

Once his name appeared on the lineup card, media from San Diego and New York and even his home state of West Virginia approached Gyorko with questions in the protracted preamble to first pitch. He fielded them all cleanly, gladly, professionally.