The Padres infielder was activated from the disabled list Saturday, his strained hamstring fit. The switch-hitting Solarte is no longer restricted to seeing his teammates just on the tube.
"I'm really excited to come back to the team,'' he said. "It's hard to watch the team in another city.''
Solarte, who missed 38 games, returns with a new role. While he'll see plenty of time at third base, his usual position, Solarte will also play second.
"You'll see him at both positions the next three days,'' manager Andy Green said.
With the Padres' offensive struggles, they are reluctant to sit Brett Wallace at third. He supplies some left-handed pop and the Padres seek all of that they can get.
So Wallace will stay at third, particularly against right-handed pitchers, with Solarte going to second.
The Padres are still without Cory Spangenberg, their Opening Day second baseman. He's out indefinitely with a quad strain.
Solarte, who hit .375 in five games before getting hurt, played some second at Triple-A El Paso during his rehab stint. He went 5-for-7 with two triples and a double.
"He's going to be a big part of what we're doing moving forward,'' Green said.
Right-hander Andrew Cashner (hamstring) will come off the DL on Tuesday and start that day in San Francisco. Green said James Shields will get an extra day's rest, going in the series finale Wednesday.
Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.