Versatile Spangenberg activated by Padres

Murphy says club will make sure to get young infielder into games

Versatile Spangenberg activated by Padres

DENVER -- Padres infielder Cory Spangenberg was reinstated from the disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Rockies at Coors Field.

Spangenberg missed 37 games on the disabled list after he landed on the DL on June 28.

The Padres sent left-handed reliever Frank Garces to Triple-A El Paso to order to make room for Spangenberg on the 25-man roster.

Now that Spangenberg is back, the biggest question is about how the Padres will use him.

Third baseman Yangervis Solarte is hitting .323 since the All-Star break. Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who came back from El Paso when Spangenberg injured his knee, is hitting .258, but has five home runs and 17 RBIs since June 28.

"You think that the guy you're getting back is going to fill a hole and you've got two guys playing really well. We're going to get him in there, no doubt about it," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy.

"He's not 100 percent in terms of mid-season form with seeing pitches. But he can contribute; off the bench sometimes and sometimes in the starting lineup."

Murphy indicated the Spangenberg would be in the lineup on Saturday, but did not say where.

Spangenberg hit .211 in nine games during his Minor League rehabilitation stint, but had a home run on Thursday playing for El Paso. He flew to Denver early Friday.

"I feel great right now. The knee's 100 percent," Spangenberg said. "The timing's back. Feel good in the field, feel good running the bases."

Spangenberg, who is hitting .254 with seven steals this season with the Padres, offers the team something it doesn't have a lot of -- versatility and speed.

He can play second base and third base and the outfield in a pinch. In many ways, he's the ideal National League bench player, especially in that he hits left-handed.

Murphy was asked if Spangenberg stood to benefit more from additional at-bats in the Minor Leagues.

"I think there's a need here now; he's a weapon off the bench in a lot of ways, speed off the bench. I think there's a lot of ways we can use him," Murphy said.

Spangenberg played one game at shortstop on his rehab assignment, but that was more because the team needed someone to play there that specific day. There's no plan in the works for him to play shortstop with the Padres.

Garces has a 4.94 ERA in 31 innings during two separate stints with the Padres this season.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.