Padres manager Bob Melvin provided an update on the injury situations of second baseman Rougned Odor and shortstop Xander Bogaerts after last night’s game against the Cubs. As noted by Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union Tribune, Melvin said that both Odor, who’s dealing with a left groin strain, and Bogaerts, who has struggled with wrist soreness throughout the season, will be assessed today, with Melvin admitting that there is “probably the potential of” a roster move to accommodate their ailing middle infield duo sometime today.
Melvin’s comments come after MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell noted earlier in the day that the Padres are hopeful Odor can avoid going on the injured list. After signing a minor league deal with the Padres this offseason and managing to break camp with the club, Odor has enjoyed a start to the season that, if maintained, would make the 2023 campaign his best since his age-22 season with the Rangers back in 2016. In 99 trips to the plate with the Padres this season, Odor has slashed .216/.303/.420, good for a 101 wRC+ that’s a massive jump from the 78 wRC+ figure he posted across the 2019-2022 campaigns.
Odor’s rebound at the plate has come through a considerable improvement in place discipline, as the lefty has posted a strikeout rate of just 20.2%, a steep drop from the 27.8% rate Odor punched out over the past four seasons. He’s paired the reduced strikeouts with a 10.1% walk rate that would be the best of his career if he can maintain it over the full season.
Bogaerts, meanwhile, commented on his wrist troubles to reporters, with Cassavell relaying that he’ll likely be out of the lineup today, if not longer, though he hopes to avoid a stint on the IL. Melvin confirmed that his shortstop would likely have today off, as Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union Tribune notes that the manager says they’ll see how Bogaerts responds to a day off before making a decision regarding a potential IL trip. As noted by The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, Bogaerts notes that this is the longest he’s played through wrist discomfort, citing the absence of third baseman Manny Machado as the reason he felt the need to try and push through the ailment.
With Odor and Bogaerts both at risk of missing time, the Padres will likely need to reconfigure their infield picture aside from Machado, who is entrenched at third base. Ha-Seong Kim has experience at both second base and shortstop, while Brandon Dixon has mostly played first base for the Padres this season but has experience at the keystone as well. Jake Cronenworth can play all three positions, while both Alfonso Rivas and Matt Carpenter could factor in at first base as well if necessary.
One solution the Padres seem unlikely to go with is returning Fernando Tatis Jr. to the infield. A shortstop for the majority of his career, Tatis has moved to the outfield full time in 2023, appearing exclusively in right field so far this season. That being said, more positional flexibility could still be in Tatis’s future, as noted by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune. Acee elaborates that with Jose Azocar optioned to Triple-A, the Padres lack a proper back-up option in center field behind Trent Grisham.
Tatis, of course, previously expressed a desire to play center field earlier this season, and Acee relays that Melvin appears open to the idea, saying that “He plays pretty good right field for us right now… But if we needed to do something or if something happened in-game or we wanted to give Grish another day off, (Tatis) has been taking fly balls in center field.”