"It's tough, but it's probably good," Cabrera said. "For me, at this point, it's probably better to lose 12, 13 games than any more. We'll shut it down so it gets better and I can get back to playing."
The team recalled outfielder Jaff Decker from Triple-A Tucson. He was in uniform for Wednesday's series finale against the Giants.
Cabrera leads the team in runs (37) and hits (84), is tied for the Major League lead in stolen bases (31) and has a .305 average and a .382 on-base percentage while playing a demanding position well.
Cabrera suffered the injury trying to steal second base in the eighth inning Sunday. His disabled list stint will be backdated, but the Padres now know for certain they'll be without Cabrera for a while.
"We wanted to give it a few days to see if it would resolve itself," said Padres manager Bud Black of Cabrera's hamstring. "We want to give it the best opportunity to heal. The legs are a big part of Cabby's game. We just felt we couldn't risk him coming back too soon."
The Padres have used newcomer Pedro Ciriaco and Alexi Amarista at shortstop already in the absence of Cabrera. Logan Forsythe, who is filling in at second base for an injured Jedd Gyorko (right groin strain), is another option at shortstop. Amarista struggled defensively in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Giants.
The Padres have four position players from their Opening Day starting lineup -- Cabrera, Gyorko, center fielder Cameron Maybin (torn left posterior cruciate ligament) and first baseman Yonder Alonso (broken bone, right hand) -- on the disabled list.
Despite the injuries, the Padres have played well. The loss Tuesday snapped their season-best, seven-game winning streak. All seven victories came against teams who have winning records -- Braves, D-backs and Giants.
Decker was promoted from Tucson on June 12 when Maybin landed on the disabled list. But he didn't appear in a game. He's hitting .260 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 63 games for Tucson.