Decision looms about Federowicz's fate

Decision looms about Federowicz's fate

NEW YORK -- As if there weren't enough on the horizon over the next two days, the Padres have an internal roster decision looming regarding their catching situation.

Backup catcher Tim Federowicz is set to complete his rehab assignment at Triple-A El Paso by Friday, by which time San Diego must decide whether or not to activate him. He is out of Minor League options.

But that decision is contingent on many variables associated with the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. At least seven Padres are rumored to be on the trading block, with Federowicz and/or current backup Austin Hedges qualifying as possible chips that could be packaged in such moves.

"We have no idea what's going to happen in the next 48 hours," interim manager Pat Murphy said. "The next 48 hours could create a lot of different things, so I would be speculating. I know the organization likes Tim a lot."

Acquired in the deal that brought Matt Kemp from the Dodgers in December, Federowicz entered the spring slated to serve as Derek Norris' primary backup. But he tore the meniscus in his right knee in March, forcing San Diego to lean heavily on Norris, who ranks second in the National League in games played, with 86.

At that time, Federowicz's injury appeared to create an opportunity for Hedges, but he has struggled in limited duty, hitting just .148 in 54 at-bats since his promotion on May 3.

When Hedges was slotted into the lineup on Wednesday as the Padres continued a three-game set against the Mets at Citi Field, it was just the 17th time he'd started in almost three months.

"I think he's crawling out of his shell and coming into his own as much as a rookie catcher can," Murphy said. "Hedges needs to play more. Derek has caught a lot of games, and Hedges needs to play more."

Federowicz went 12-for-53 over 15 games across two Minor League levels. He's a .194 hitter in 247 Major League at-bats, and is known more for his defense.

Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.