Injury Bug Bites Padres

Several prospects go down





SAN DIEGO If it weren't for bad luck, Donavan Tate wouldn't have any luck at all.
Coming up on the one-year anniversary of the 2009 draft, the Padres' first-round pick has yet to take the field in a real game. A sports hernia was discovered just after the draft and an offseason ATV accident that broke his jaw was a major setback.

Then a shoulder injury in spring training, sustained when he dove for a ball, put the 19-year-old outfielder on the shelf just when he was rounding into shape. The latest setback came at the end of April, when he was hit in the head by a pitch in an extended spring training game.

Tate's injury was just one in a series that has put a damper on the early season for the Padres. Second baseman Matt Antonelli, who had a great spring after two subpar years, was out at Triple-A Portland after having surgery on his hand to repair a hamate injury.

Logan Forsythe, who was making the transition from third base to second base at Double-A San Antonio, broke his hand and was out indefinitely.

And veteran second baseman Josh Barfield, the former top prospect in the organization who was signed in February after being released by the Indians, broke his left pinky at Portland.

So with a shortage of middle infielders, the Padres purchased the contract of shortstop Lance Zawadzki from Portland when Everth Cabrera was put on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Zawadzki, who started his college career at San Diego State, had the first hit in Petco Park history—a single against the University of Houston in 2006. He later transferred to Lee (Tenn.), and the Padres selcted him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. Zawadzki, 25, hit .162/.240/.176 in 68 at-bats at Portland and got off to a 1-for-8 start with the Padres.

"We saw a lot of Lance in the spring," Padres manager Bud Black said. "And he did a nice job. He's a good defender with a good arm. That's what we wanted. In our ballpark, the priority is on playing defense." 

FATHER FIGURES

• Lefthander Cesar Ramos was optioned to Portland when veteran Joe Thatcher was healthy. The Padres say Ramos has proved himself as a specialist, but they returned him to the rotation at Portland.

• Nate Frieman, a 6-foot-8 first baseman, made a solid impression in spring training and was off to a fast start at low Class A Fort Wayne, hitting .314/.362/.458 in 110 at-bats with four home runs and 20 RBIs.