The merry-go-round continues for the San Diego Padres, as yet another starter is sidelined with an injury. Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot have all spent time on the DL this season for the Friars.
This time, Austin Hedges was placed on the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation in his throwing arm.
An elbow injury to a catcher is very scary. The Padres have had their share of bad luck with injuries, so the team will play it safe with their young backstop.
Hedges had been struggling with the bat and this arm injury could have been a factor in his swing. He was off to a .173 start in which he struck out 30 times in 75 at bats. His swing had turned long and there were obvious signs of distress. Hedges missed time early in the year with a back ailment, so it was believed that could have been the issue. This elbow trouble is concerning for the team.
The Padres will go with A.J. Ellis and Raffy Lopez moving forward. Not exactly ideal, but the team will do what they have to do. Some have called for young catcher Austin Allen to make his debut, as he is tearing it up in Double-A. That would be fun, but very risky. Lopez already had a 40-man roster spot so his addition was not complicated. Promoting Allen would mean that someone would have to be DFA’d. At this point, Hedges’ injury is minor and there is no need to rush young players.
Hedges will rest and be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks. Hopefully this injury is indeed minor and he will return sometime in the middle of May. Padre fans can only hope as Hedges was supposed to have a breakout year in 2018.
Hedges hits the DL, and Raffy Lopez has been recalled, as expected.
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) May 1, 2018
Raffy Lopez was tearing it up in El Paso and could help provide an offensive force to the end of the lineup. Expect the Padres to share catching duties between the two veterans. Lopez is in the lineup tonight with Tyson Ross on the mound.
Lopez put up a .372/.657/.1.029 batting line in 70 at bats in the PCL. He smashed seven homers in that time and has played pretty good defense. The left-handed batter should be productive with the bat for the team.
— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) May 1, 2018
The Padres are snakebitten right now with injuries. The loss of Hedges will test the strength of this team. Andy Green must keep this young team on track with the same goal. Championship ambitions are out of reach, but there is no reason why this team can’t play quality baseball each game.