Gyorko returns as Spangenberg goes on disabled list

Jedd was hitting .279 with 4 HRs at Triple-A El Paso

Gyorko returns as Spangenberg goes on disabled list

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

After infielder Cory Spangenberg left Saturday night's game with a bone bruise to his left knee, the Padres adopted a wait-and-see position. They could go two or three days a player short while determining whether or not Spangenberg needed to go on the disabled list with his injury.

Then third baseman Will Middlebrooks rolled his ankle on Sunday afternoon when he stepped on a weighted bat left in Arizona's on-deck circle in front of the visitors' dugout at Petco Park.

Although the Padres have not said how serious the injuries are to either Spangenberg or Middlebrooks, the club can't go any time without two infielders.

Calling Jedd Gyorko. The second baseman came out of Triple-A El Paso's game at Tacoma after one inning Monday night and headed for San Diego.

Gyorko was officially recalled Tuesday morning as the Padres placed Spangenberg on the 15-day disabled list. Since being optioned to El Paso on June 10, Gyorko hit .279 with four homers and nine RBIs in 16 games, with 11 strikeouts in 61 at-bats.

But as Padres manager Pat Murphy, who opened the season managing San Diego's Triple-A affiliate for a third straight season, said recently, there is a big difference between Triple-A numbers and Major League performance.

Has the 26-year-old Gyorko solved the problems that has had him struggling since the start of the 2014 season?

As a rookie in 2013, Gyorko hit .249 with 23 homers and 63 RBIs in 486 at-bats, with a .301 on-base percentage. In 519 at-bats since, Gyorko has hit .210 with 23 doubles, 12 homers and 62 RBIs, with a .277 on-base percentage.

It's one thing to put up numbers at Triple-A. The challenge is to perform at the Major League level. Pitchers adjusted to Gyorko after his rookie season and Gyorko has been slow to make the required corresponding adjustments.

Spangenberg admitted Sunday to being much sorer than he was the night before -- and before the MRI showed the injury to be bone bruise and not a knee strain. The disabled list became the only option.

The loss of Spangenberg, who can play second and third, costs the Padres one of their few left-handed hitters. He is batting .254 with two homers, 11 RBIs and seven steals. Spangenberg, who had a .304 on-base percentage, gave San Diego an element of speed.

Middlebrooks cautiously walked off the field on his own power after rolling his ankle when he stepped on the bat. The third baseman is batting .222 with nine homers and 28 RBIs. He had a .252 on-base percentage.

 From the scorecards

-- Shortstop Clint Barmes has hit .380 (19-for-50) with seven doubles a triple and a home run with seven RBIs since the last day of May. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games (20-for-52). Barmes is hitting .319 (15-for-47) in 23 games at Petco Park.

-- Left-handed pitcher Cory Luebke issued a walk in an otherwise perfect inning Sunday in his third rehab outing -- and sixth overall -- with Double-A San Antonio. In six rehab outings between high Class A Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, Luebke has allowed three runs on two hits, a hit batter and three walks with three strikeouts in six innings.

-- The Padres scored three runs while right-handed starter Odrisamer Despaigne was officially in the game Sunday afternoon. In Despaigne's nine outings previous to Sunday, San Diego had not scored a run in seven games while Despaigne was still the pitcher of record. And the Friars were fully shut out in four of those games.

-- Right-handed pitcher Kevin Quackenbush has not allowed a baserunner in three appearances (3 1/3 innings) since returning from Triple-A El Paso on June 24.