Strained left oblique lands Solarte on DL

Diaz also out, leaving team with four-man rotation

June 24th, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres placed second baseman and right-hander on the disabled list before Friday's game against the Tigers. In corresponding moves, the team activated catcher from the disabled list and recalled infielder from Triple-A El Paso.

Solarte was scratched from Tuesday's lineup after straining his left oblique taking swings minutes before the game. Before the injury, he had homered five times in his previous seven games.

"That's tough for us," manager Andy Green said. "He's our hottest hitter, kind of our emotional leader on the baseball field."

With Solarte out, the Padres will turn to Asuaje to primarily handle second base, Green said. Asuaje had drawn 40 walks compared to 33 strikeouts with El Paso.

"Carlos has been swinging the bat really well lately," Green said. "I think one thing we're constantly looking for are guys who take their walks and don't strike out."

The Padres briefly called up Asuaje for two games in May. After his return to Triple-A, Asuaje focused on letting the ball get deep in the strike zone and being less anxious, improving his performance against offspeed pitches.

"For me, I think the most value I can add to this team is helping this team win," Asuaje said. "Regardless of if it's being productive on defense or getting on base with walks or however the case may be."

Diaz exited his start Wednesday after 2 1/3 scoreless innings with what the Padres classified as a strained right forearm. Green said Diaz was dealing with inflammation in the forearm and was seeing a doctor Friday, adding that Diaz's 98-100 mph velocity primarily comes from his arm rather than his lower or upper body.

With Diaz out, the Padres are carrying only four starters. Given San Diego had an off-day Thursday with another coming on Monday, Green said the team can afford to have four starters for the time being, though a move will need to be made in the coming days.

Sanchez was placed on the disabled list in early May with a hamstring strain. His return was delayed when he fouled a ball off his foot during his initial rehab assignment.

Green said Sanchez, a switch-hitter, will primarily serve as a left-handed bench bat, a piece the Padres have lacked, often having to call on right-handed pinch-hitters to face right-handed pitchers late in games.

Worth noting

• Outfielder Alex Dickerson, who hasn't appeared in a game this season, will have a discectomy, a surgery to remove the bulging disk in his lower back, Wednesday. He will miss 3-4 months and won't return this season.

's timing is off while batting during his rehab assignment with El Paso, but he's running smoothly in the outfield and showing no ill effects of the calf strain that put him on the disabled list.

• Two possible options to fill the hole Diaz left made rehab starts Thursday. Right-hander (left hip) started for Triple-A El Paso, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. Of his 54 pitches, 34 were strikes. In 2 2/3 innings for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, right-hander (right shoulder) gave up four runs over 49 pitches. Green said both will need at least one more rehab start to get extended before returning to the Majors.

• If not Asuaje, the Padres would've recalled to take Solarte's place on the roster. But Green said Schimpf, who's hit .209 since his demotion to Triple-A, hasn't performed yet to necessitate a promotion.

"In Ryan Schimpf's case, the whole idea was to send him down to get him going," Green said, "and that really hasn't occurred yet."