Johnson likely done for year with elbow strain

Johnson likely done for year with elbow strain

SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson is expected to miss the remainder of the season, as a result of the flexor strain in his right elbow that has sidelined him since late June.

The Padres are hopeful that Johnson, who was acquired from the White Sox as part of the James Shields trade, will not require surgery. But his recovery will last into the offseason.

"It's a real longshot that he's pitching for us again this year," said Padres manager Andy Green. "He's got more rest ahead of him. [We're] hoping to not have to do anything surgically and don't expect to."

Johnson struggled mightily in four starts for the Padres this season, allowing 20 runs in 19 2/3 innings. He came to the Friars, along with shortstop prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., in the June 4 trade that sent Shields and cash to Chicago.

"I'd be, at this point in time, shocked that he pitches for us again," Green said. "It's tough. You trade for a guy you want to have in the organization, a guy you want to give an opportunity to pitch at the Major League level. [Four] starts in, his elbow's barking."

Rondon gets playing time

Green hinted that shortstop Jose Rondon will continue to receive playing time, as long as he's at the big league level.

Rondon, the club's No. 12 prospect, was recalled Friday night and recorded his first hit Saturday. He was back in the starting lineup Sunday, with veteran Alexei Ramirez receiving a second consecutive day off.

"If Jose Rondon is here and on the roster, he should be playing right now, with where we are as a club," Green said. "We're going to find out what he does. I don't think this is a proclamation that he's going to be here for the rest of the season by any stretch. But he's here right now, and I think it's the smartest play to put him in the lineup."

Rondon remains the likeliest candidate to be optioned to Triple-A El Paso when Yangervis Solarte is back from the family leave list -- which could come soon, according to Green. The latest date Solarte could return is Friday.

Blash will see increased role

Outfielder Jabari Blash had his contract selected from El Paso before Sunday's game. The 27-year-old slugger played only sporadically for the Padres in his first stint this season, recording only 25 at-bats in the team's first 34 games.

According to Green, Blash's opportunity will be much greater this time. Blash won't necessarily play every day, but it sounds as though he'll be in the lineup more often than not -- a prospect made possible by recent trades of Melvin Upton Jr. and Matt Kemp.

Blash was in the starting lineup Sunday against the Reds, hitting fifth and playing in right field.

"His swing was never set up to play off the bench very well," Green said. "With who he his, his timing mechanisms, his long levers -- those aren't the swings that play well off the bench."

Blash was hitting .260/.415/.514 at El Paso before Sunday's callup.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.