In last Friday’s game against the Giants, Erick Aybar fouled a ball off the top of his foot. He stayed in and finished the game, but he was held out for the remainder of the series with a sore foot. Now it turns out that there’s a fracture in that foot, meaning that he’ll be out for a while, possibly for the season. This places the Padres in a precarious position.
Dusty Coleman was called up today to start the series opener against the Mets. Allen Cordoba had started the last two games at shortstop, without a properly qualified backup. Over the last 28 days, Cordoba is hitting .107/.229/.107, and has already played in more games than he ever had in a season as a pro. Coleman’s call-up drew some odd looks, since he owns a .209/.280/.438 line in the hitter-friendly PCL. With Aybar on the shelf, it’s currently up to these two to man the post. That’s not ideal.
The only other shortstops on the 40-man roster are Javier Guerra and Jose Rondon. Guerra, who just recently got called up from single-A to AA, although some doubt whether he has earned the promotion considering that he hit .226/.267/.358 through 89 games in Lake Elsinore. Rondon was recently promoted from AA to AAA after a respectable first half, hitting .293/.343/.433, but is currently on the disabled list.
Chase d’Arnaud is another option, as he logged 22 games with the team earlier this year prior to getting designated for assignment. His glove played well, and he quickly became a media darling, but the bat didn’t do much (.143/.176/.245).
Erick Aybar may be the latest in a lineup of mediocre starting shortstops for the Padres, but he’s been a steady presence in the middle of the infield. In his absence, the Padres will have to rely on inexperienced, underperforming players to get through the rest of the season, unless a move is made. The team may look to claim a player off waivers, and perhaps they missed a golden opportunity as Pete Kozma recently cleared waivers and was assigned to the Rangers’ AAA affiliate. However the team chooses to approach the remainder of this season, the shortstop looks to be one of the weakest positions on the diamond.