Tate, Williams Get Limited Looks

Injuries keeping prospects off the field





SAN DIEGO—The Padres have seen enough of 20-year-old outfielders Donavan Tate and Everett Williams to know they have two young and very talented players.
But it has been hard keeping Tate on the field.

Tate, the third overall pick in 2009, has suffered through hernia surgery as well as shoulder, neck and leg injuries. The latest setback came April 12 when Tate and Williams, playing for low Class A Fort Wayne, collided in the outfield. Both left the game, but neither player was thought to be hurt badly.

After sitting out two weeks, Williams—a second-round pick in 2009—thought he was ready to go. An MRI revealed he had a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery and is out for the season. X-rays revealed Tate had suffered a deep bone bruise. He's out until at least June.

Tate was hitting .316/.435/.421 in 19 at-bats at the time of his injury. Williams was hitting .300/.391/.300 after 20 at-bats.

"Everett was asking to play," Padres farm director Randy Smith said. "He wasn't feeling any pain. Before we put him back on the field, though, we thought we better check it our further. That's when the medical folks saw the tear."

Tate didn't play after signing in 2009 and injuries limited him to just 25 games last season.

"But he was healthy this winter and spring, and he made tremendous strides," Smith said. "He had a good instructional league. We brought him in to San Diego in the fall and early to spring training, and he was excellent. He had really matured into what we could see was going to be a good player. He has really had a run of bad luck. "I really think that if we can keep him on the field, his talent will shine through. The same goes for Williams."

FATHER FIGURES

• The organization was scrambling for middle infielders after shortstop Drew Cumberland was having dizzy spells, shortstop Everth Cabrera broke a hand and second baseman Logan Forsythe was called to the big leagues to fill in for injured Orlando Hudson. So veteran Alex Cintron was signed to help out at Triple-A Tucson.

• Infielder David Newhan, who was trying to make a comeback from a broken vertebra in his neck suffered in a surfing accident, was signed as a coach.