Slowly but surely, the Padres are starting to get healthy again.
Shortstop Everth Cabrera was activated from the disabled list today after missing all of July with a hamstring injury. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko returned to the lineup on Monday after missing 44 games with plantar fasciitis in his foot. Yonder Alonso was back at his post at first base over the weekend after spending more than a month on the shelf with a sore wrist.
Perhaps most importantly, staff ace Andrew Cashner threw a successful bullpen session and could be back in the next few weeks. He has made just 12 starts this season after two stints on the disabled list.
Of course, with the Padres looking at a 12 ½ game hole in the National League West after dropping three of four to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, it’s more a case of too-little-too-late. It also makes you think what could have been if everyone had stayed healthy all season.
But speculating about that won’t do any good. Instead, the team has to focus on the St. Louis Cardinals, who come to town for a three-game series this week. It’s the first time back at Petco Park in nine days for the Friars, who will spend all week at home.
Can the new additions to the lineup help put some runs on the board against a streaking Cards team? Let’s find out.
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: Tyson Ross (R, 9-10, 2.65) vs. Lance Lynn (R, 11-7, 3.05)
Ho-hum, another quality start from Ross, who has seven straight outings allowing two runs or less. Lynn just had a three-game win streak snapped, despite going six strong against the Tampa Rays over the weekend.
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: Jesse Hahn (R, 6-2, 2.12) vs. Kelly (R, 2-1, 3.90)
Hahn continues to impress, putting up six quality starts – including three in a row – since his call-up last month. He battles Kelly, a SoCal native who went to UC Riverside. He has pitched six or more innings in just two of his six starts this year.
Thursday, 12:40 p.m.: Odrisamer Despaigne (R, 2-2, 1.66) vs. Miller (R, 7-8, 4.20)
It was the shortest start of the season for Despaigne over the weekend, as he went just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and five walks and took the loss. Miller hasn’t won since June 6.
What’s at stake: As usual, the Cardinals are right in the thick of the playoff race. They trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 2 games in the National League Central and are out of the wild card by just a half-game.
This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. They meet in St. Louis next month.
Who to watch:
Padres: Outfielder Seth Smith is hitting an astounding .471 over the past week and leads all Padres in home runs (11), average (.295), doubles (21) and walks (44). Tommy Medica is 8 for his last 20. Yangervis Solarte has hits in four of his first six games with the team since coming over in the Chase Headley trade.
Cardinals: Shortstop Jhonny Peralta leads the team with 14 homers and has a hit in five of his last six games. Outfielder Matt Holliday shook off a first-half slump and leads the team with 53 RBIs. He also has three home runs in his past five games. First baseman Matt Adams has hit over .300 in every month except for July (.289). He had a four-RBI game against the Cubs on Saturday.
Coming up: The Atlanta Braves come to town for a rematch of last weekend’s series where they took three of four from the Friars.