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Solarte headed to DL with oblique issue

Padres second baseman injured prior to Tuesday's game
MLB.com @AJCassavell

CHICAGO -- Padres second baseman Yangervis Solarte is expected to be placed on the 10-day disabled list after sustaining a left oblique strain moments before first pitch in Tuesday night's 4-0 loss.

Solarte, who routinely takes cuts in the batting cage prior to games, felt a pop in his side Tuesday. It was later diagnosed as a strained oblique, the first such injury Solarte has sustained in his playing career. Without time to get a replacement to Chicago for Wednesday's game against the Cubs, Solarte remained active, but he will be placed on the DL before Friday's game against Detroit.

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CHICAGO -- Padres second baseman Yangervis Solarte is expected to be placed on the 10-day disabled list after sustaining a left oblique strain moments before first pitch in Tuesday night's 4-0 loss.

Solarte, who routinely takes cuts in the batting cage prior to games, felt a pop in his side Tuesday. It was later diagnosed as a strained oblique, the first such injury Solarte has sustained in his playing career. Without time to get a replacement to Chicago for Wednesday's game against the Cubs, Solarte remained active, but he will be placed on the DL before Friday's game against Detroit.

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"It's hurting me right now," Solarte said through an interpreter. "I feel like I'm a player who's always played, with pain or without pain. I always try to play. I don't leave the game for any reason. This has never happened. But it happened now."

Padres manager Andy Green said there's not yet a timetable for Solarte's return, noting the tricky nature of oblique injuries.

"It's tough for us as a club," Green said. "He's a guy who kind of is the heartbeat of the club, and he had swung the bat incredibly well in the last month. It's hard to lose him."

The Padres didn't announce Solarte's expected replacement. But Ryan Schimpf, who was recently sent to Triple-A El Paso, seems the likeliest option. In eight games since his demotion, Schimpf has four homers and is hitting .231.

Second baseman Carlos Asuaje was another possibility mentioned by Green. But the Padres skipper added that he feels confident his current infield group can cover things at the big league level, and on Wednesday, Jose Pirela moved from left field to second base.

"We have enough infielders to cover it, if we choose to go a different route," Green said. "But we'll sit down as an organization, a coaching staff, and we'll make a determination on what's best, whether it's Ryan Schimpf, Carlos Asuaje or Hector Sanchez."

Sanchez, who is close to returning from the DL with a right hamstring strain, would be the Padres' third catcher. He offers a needed left-handed bat off the bench, and homered twice for El Paso on Tuesday against Fresno.

Rookie center fielder Manuel Margot, on the other hand, is not an option for Friday. Margot, who is battling a right calf strain, would first need to get through consecutive nine-inning games before being activated, Green said.

The timing is especially frustrating for Solarte, who had homered six times with a .370/.463/.783 slash line over the past two weeks. In Monday's game, he went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double -- his first two extra-base hits from the right side of the plate this season.

"No matter when it happened, it was going to be frustrating -- beginning, middle or end [of the season]," said Solarte, who was taking right-handed swings at the time of the injury. "But I think especially so, I was trying to make some adjustments from the early part of the season.

"... The All-Star Game was coming up, just a lot of little things, goals I had in mind, things that I wanted to do. But I'm going to try to get back as soon as possible, just to help the team."

Solarte's injury occurred after the teams had exchanged lineup cards, forcing Green to substitute directly for Solarte. Chase d'Arnaud took over at second base and in the cleanup spot. He went 0-for-4.

"Solarte's our cleanup hitter today, and we didn't have another one sitting on the bench to put into the spot," Green said. "We already turned in the lineup cards at that point in time. There was no time to rearrange the lineup. So at that point in time, you've got to insert somebody into the four-hole who doesn't typically hit in the four-hole -- and doesn't typically protect Wil Myers."

Indeed, the Cubs were cautious with Myers, who walked three times -- and was stranded at first base three times as well.

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

San Diego Padres, Yangervis Solarte