Hedges sustained his injury Friday night when he took a Brandon Belt foul ball off his mask. The Padres are hopeful he'll be ready by July 25, the first day he'd be available.
"He feels better," said Padres manager Andy Green. "His issue is that he can pass a test, but when you ramp up activity, start sweating, start getting ready to play a game of baseball, it's just a different level."
Hedges is hitting .218/.259/.416 with 13 home runs, while playing exceptional defense behind the plate. Hector Sanchez had taken Hedges' place over the past three games (homering in each). But on Tuesday it was rookie Rule 5 draftee Luis Torrens behind the plate.
Valdez, meanwhile, returns to the Padres after just one day in the Minors. He was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on Monday, clearing room for Kirby Yates who was reinstated from the paternity list. Valdez pitched a scoreless inning in Sacramento on Monday night.
The Padres decided on Valdez, given the recent strain on their bullpen. But his callup gives Green an extremely short three-man bench.
It won't stay that way for long. Outfielder Franchy Cordero joined the Padres on Tuesday as a member of the taxi squad. He'll be called up before Wednesday's game, though it's unclear who he'll replace. Valdez is a possibility.
Green lauds Richard
Left-hander Clayton Richard was named the Padres' Heart and Hustle Award winner on Tuesday morning. He's one of 30 finalists -- one from each team -- for the overall award, given each year to "the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game."
"He's the unquestioned leader of the team," said Green. "His preparation is second to none for his own craft. He's ready to pitch every five days. He's a tremendous leader, tremendous teammate. He means more to this organization than I think anybody outside could really know. He deserves to be honored like that."