Blash returns to Padres to take Kemp's spot

Hedges, Renfroe, Margot arrivals could wait until September

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

The Padres got a break from the Pacific Coast League schedule maker Saturday night.

As soon as the Matt Kemp trade to Atlanta was completed, the Padres put out a call for outfielder Jabari Blash to get to San Diego in time for Sunday afternoon's series finale against Cincinnati at Petco Park.

Fortunately, Blash and the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas were in Las Vegas, which is an hour's flight from San Diego.

Blash, 27, was with the Padres earlier in the season as a Rule 5 Draft pick. He was 3-for-25 with 13 strikeouts when the Padres completed a trade with Seattle on May 18 enabling them to option him to Triple-A El Paso.

He was hitting .260 with the Chihuahuas with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in 177 at-bats.

So, why recall Blash and no promote higher outfield prospects Hunter Renfroe or Manuel Margot from El Paso?

Well, neither is on the Padres' 40-man roster at the moment. And their arrival might be pushed back until September so that they don't burn a season of control by the Padres.

That factor might also impact catcher Austin Hedges' return to the Padres, who would lose a full season of control regarding Hedges if the catcher spends more than 17 days on the Major League roster this season.

Were the Padres to trade Derek Norris, the catcher immediately recalled from El Paso might be Hector Sanchez.


• Shortstop Jose Rondon, who was promoted from Double-A San Antonio Friday to take Yangervis Solarte's (family leave) spot on the 24-man roster, made his first Major League start Saturday. He turned a diving stop to his left into a doubleplay in the top of the fifth then got his first Major League hit in the bottom of the inning.

• Alexi Amarista started in left field for the injured Alex Dickerson (right hip contusion suffered in a first-inning collision with CF Travis Jankowski Friday night) and went 3-for-4 with an RBI single and a stolen base. It was his first three-hit game of the season.

• The Padres don't expect Dickerson's injury to be a disabled list issue, although he could miss several games due to the bruised him.

• Several key Padres starters are in the midst of slumps.

• Catcher Derek Norris is hitless in his last 17 at-bats and has one hit, a double on July 20, in his last 27 at-bats with one run scored and 12 strikeouts to drop his batting average back to .193.

• Second baseman Ryan Schimpf is 1-for-17 since setting the Padres' single-month home run record for a rookie with his ninth homer of July back on July 24. Schimpf has drawn four walks during the slump, which has dropped his batting average from .250 to .219.

• Shortstop Alexei Ramirez is hitless in 17 straight at-bats to drop his batting average 11 points to .236.

• Center fielder Travis Jankowski is hitless in his last 11 at-bats with five strikeouts to slip to .220 on the season.