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Padres call up Guerra for series in Mexico

Green praises prospect Urias; Hedges shut down from baseball activities
MLB.com @AJCassavell

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Javy Guerra's first taste of the big leagues is an international one.

The Padres shortstop prospect was called up on Friday ahead of the club's three-game series against the Dodgers in Monterrey. Both clubs were afforded a 26th man for the series, and the Padres took advantage by giving Guerra his first trip to the Majors.

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MONTERREY, Mexico -- Javy Guerra's first taste of the big leagues is an international one.

The Padres shortstop prospect was called up on Friday ahead of the club's three-game series against the Dodgers in Monterrey. Both clubs were afforded a 26th man for the series, and the Padres took advantage by giving Guerra his first trip to the Majors.

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"It's a dream come true," Guerra said. "It was a really nice moment for me."

A one-time top prospect acquired in the Craig Kimbrel deal, Guerra slumped during his first two seasons in the Padres' organization. He has bounced back in some ways this year.

Guerra, an excellent defender, continues to strike out at a high clip, but his power numbers have jumped. He's hitting .244/.296/.511 in 25 games for Triple-A El Paso this year. That slugging mark is the highest in his professional career by a longshot.

"He got off to a good start," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's driven the baseball. He's made some adjustments with his swing, down to a toe-tap from a leg-kick. ... Strikeouts have always been his fight in the batter's box. He's still striking out. But ... he's hit the ball hard when he's put it in play."

Shortstop Freddy Galvis has started every game for the Padres, and he was in the lineup again on Friday night. But Guerra is expected to receive a start at some point this weekend, perhaps Sunday against Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda.

Barring something unforeseen, Guerra will be optioned to the Minors on Monday when the Padres return to San Diego. That doesn't make the moment any less sweet. Guerra received word of his callup on Thursday and called his mom, who broke into tears instantly.

"I think all the work that I've been putting in this year and the past two years, I'm just feeling more comfortable now," Guerra said.

It's easy to forget Guerra is only 22 years old, given the ups and downs of his Minors career already. It remains a mystery where he fits in the club's long-term plans. Top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is a shortstop, but some feel he projects better at third base. Of course, Christian Villanueva, the rookie star of this weekend's series in his native Mexico is currently entrenched there.

• Padres' Top 30 prospects

If there's a place for Guerra, he'll make his first claim to it this weekend.

Urias on the horizon
Some had speculated that Luis Urias might be the 26th man called up for this weekend's series, given his Mexican roots. Urias, the club's No. 3 prospect, is a native of Magdalena de Kino and was batting .298/.416/.417 with El Paso.

Green noted the romantic aspect of that possibility. But Urias is only a few days removed from a hamstring injury that forced him out of the lineup last week. The Padres didn't want to press him straight into Major League action. Plus, the Guerra addition made a bit more sense, given current roster construction.

That said, Urias might not be too far away from his first shot at the big leagues. Speaking with Mexican media, Green was asked about his 20-year-old second-base prospect on the second question he fielded.

"He's definitely one of our favorite prospects we have in the organization," Green said. "He's a guy whose name has come up already on numerous occasions already this young season as possibly joining us. ... We're excited for his future, and from my seat, I'd love to welcome him here as soon as everybody else is ready to bring him."

Video: Top Prospects: Luis Urias, 2B, Padres

Hedges down seven to 10 days
Padres catcher Austin Hedges won't partake in any baseball activity for seven to 10 days as he recovers from right elbow tendinitis. If the injury hasn't healed by then, Hedges will be sent for further imaging and tests.

Hedges was placed on the disabled list Tuesday after the pain in his elbow flared up Monday night. He was sent to San Diego to be looked at by the team doctor and did not make the trip to Mexico.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Javy Guerra, Austin Hedges