Cumberland Gets Bad News

Shortstop's breakout season comes to an end





SAN DIEGO—Drew Cumberland's first trip to San Diego wasn't exactly what he had hoped for.

In the middle of a breakout season at Double-A San Antonio, the shortstop slid into a concrete wall while chasing a foul ball at, injuring his left knee.

"He slashed his knee, and there's a significant gash, quite deep," farm director Randy Smith said. "It was bad enough that we had to send him to San Diego to have it looked at."

The news from the doctors wasn't good. They recommended he sit out six to eight weeks. With less than two months of the action remaining in the Texas League, that effectively ended the season for Cumberland, a supplemental first-round pick in 2007 out of Pace (Fla.) High.

"It's really an unfortunate injury," Smith said. "He was playing really well."

Cumberland, 21, missed half of the 2008 season with a right oblique strain but was back on track this year. He batted .365/.404/.542 with seven home runs and 20 stolen bases in 60 games at high Class A Lake Elsinore, making the California League midseason all-star team and earning a promotion to San Antonio. In 15 games at San Antonio, he was hitting .278/.298/.333.

And while some question his ability to play shortstop long-term because of a flaw in his throwing mechanics, he was the highest-ranked middle infielder in an organization that is shy on middle-infield prospects.

"This kid can play," Lake Elsinore manager Carlos Lezcano said. "He plays with a passion, he plays hard. He played great for me, helped us win the first half. Can he play shortstop in the big leagues or is he a second baseman? That's not my call. That will work itself out over time."

FATHER FIGURES

• Outfielder Donavan Tate, who signed for $6.25 million as the third overall draft pick in 2009, missed 10 days in the Rookie-level Arizona League with a stomach virus. That comes on top of several other injuries that have cost him playing time since he signed. Tate came back strong after the virus, going 3-for-9 in his first three games back with a home run and three RBIs. In his first 21 pro games, Tate was hitting .224/.348/.355.

• The Padres signed veteran outfielder Wily Mo Pena and sent him to Triple-A Portland. Pena, who last played in the big leagues for the Nationals in 2008, was hitting ..372/.429/.535 in 43 at-bats for the Beavers.