Finger injury ends Blash's rookie campaign

Padres outfielder hopes to recover for winter ball stint

Finger injury ends Blash's rookie campaign

SAN DIEGO -- Jabari Blash's first big league season officially came to an end earlier this week, when the Padres sent their injured outfielder home in hopes of getting him some rest before a potential winter ball stint.

Blash sprained his left middle finger in late August, and had been attempting to make a recovery in time for the end of the season.

"He just couldn't get over the hurdle with his middle finger," Green said. "Basically, rest was the only thing that was going to heal it, and he needed like four to six weeks off. He tried to continue to hit so he could come back and rejoin us, never got over that hurdle."

The Padres were bullish on Blash, a Rule 5 pick, during Spring Training. In sporadic playing time, Blash batted just .169/.298/.324.

Eventually, he lost his Rule 5 status, as the Padres and Mariners were able to work out a deal, sending Blash to San Diego for cash. That allowed the Padres to move Blash to Triple-A for a brief stint, where his trademarked power returned. He batted .260/.415/.514 for El Paso, with 11 homers in 62 games.

Blash's finger injury couldn't have come at a more inopportune time, as he was just beginning to receive routine starts. Next season, he'll have a tough time cracking an outfield mix that now includes callups Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.

News and notes

• Right-hander Cesar Vargas threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, as he continues to recover from a flexor strain in his right elbow. The Padres are hopeful he'll be at full strength shortly and can pitch a bit in winter ball.

"He's felt really good lately," Green said. "The hope is that he's going to continue his progression with his sides and might eventually pitch in winter ball. If he does, factor him into the rotation mix going into next year."

• Right-hander Jon Edwards, dealing with the same injury, is also a winter ball candidate. He's going to pitch in an instructional league game in Arizona on Saturday.

• Per Green, other winter ball candidates include: Cory Spangenberg, Carlos Asuaje and Leonel Campos. The Padres are holding shortstop Luis Sardinas back this year, after he had played in Venezuela three years in a row. The goal, Green said, is for Sardinas "to get stronger and work physically."

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