"It's nothing very serious," manager Andy Green said. "It might be a day or two that he's not in the lineup, but hopefully it's not much more than that. If we need him to pinch-hit, he's probably available to do that, but [not] to stand out here in the altitude and grind for nine innings."
Villanueva was not needed to pinch-hit, as the Padres rolled to a 13-5 victory.
Cory Spangenberg took Villanueva's place at third base on Monday night in Denver. It's a tough loss for a Padres offense that slumped mightily last week while relying heavily on Villanueva, who has entrenched himself in the middle of their lineup.
Villanueva, who was initially slated to bat fourth, is off to a sizzling start to the 2018 season, batting .355/.444/.774 with seven homers. He's leading the National League with 1.4 fWAR.
Not bad for a guy who entered the season buried on the depth chart. He has since surpassed Spangenberg and Chase Headley at third base, and he has started 18 of the club's 23 games.
"The way he's swung the bat, he's earned all the time he's getting, and he's been getting all the time there is at third base right now," Green said. "He's definitely a guy that we miss in the lineup. But it's about time for Spangenberg to go off, start getting hot."
Rockies feud settled?
Monday's game marks the first meeting between the Padres and Rockies since their benches-clearing altercation earlier this month. That kerfuffle sparked when Padres right-hander Luis Perdomo threw a 96-mph fastball behind Nolan Arenado, who promptly charged the mound.
"There's no intention to carry anything on," Green said. "All that was taken care of on the field that day. You move forward, you try to win this series."
Of course, Perdomo has since been optioned to Triple-A El Paso. He served a five-game suspension last week, as did Arenado, who was in the lineup Monday, batting third. Outfielder Gerardo Parra, who was docked four games for his role in the brawl, initially appealed his ban. He began serving it on Sunday and will miss this week's series.
Nicholas tearing up PCL
El Paso catcher/first baseman Brett Nicholas was named the Pacific Coast League's player of the week on Monday after batting .370 with 24 total bases in seven games.
Since coming over from Texas in a Minor League trade, Nicholas is batting .386/.455/.807 with six homers.