Padres second baseman David Eckstein left today’s game against Atlanta with a calf strain suffered on a slide into home. Adding insult to injury, he was out on the play.
There’s no immediate word on the severity of the injury, but Jerry Hairston will likely start at second with Eckstein out, leaving shortstop open for a struggling Everth Cabrera. Cabrera replaced Eckstein in the lineup tonight, shifting Hairston from short to second.
If Eckstein has to go on the DL, his replacement will likely be Lance Zawadzki, who’s been with the Padres a couple of times this year already. The 25-year-old utilityman is having a nice July, batting .296/.391/.370 in Triple-A. He’s 7-for-35 with San Diego, though, so he likely isn’t a long-term answer at this point, especially for a Padres team looking to win the NL West.
Hopefully, Eckstein will be back and healthy within the week. If he has to miss extended time, the Padres may want to look into acquiring a middle infielder in a deadline deal–Cabrera’s struggles already made that a point of interest.