After suffering a small fracture in his left ring finger after being hit by a Julio Urias pitch on September 10, Jake Cronenworth’s status was in question, though the Padres were holding off putting Cronenworth on the injured list. It now looks like the utilityman will return this week for the Padres’ critical series with the Cardinals, San Diego manager Jayce Tingler told The Athletic’s Dennis Lin and other reporters. The versatile Cronenworth has mostly played second base and shortstop this season, and Tingler said that Cronenworth could see action at both positions as well as some first base time.
Between an All-Star appearance this season and a second-place finish in the 2020 NL Rookie Of The Year vote, Cronenworth has emerged as a big force in San Diego’s lineup. Beyond just his multi-positional ability, the 27-year-old has also batted .274/.350/.369 with 24 homers in his first 773 plate appearances at the MLB level, and this season took another step forward by hitting left-handed pitching almost as well as he has performed against right-handers. Though Cronenworth (like pretty many of the Padres) had been in a hitting slump over the last few weeks, he had collected two hits in each of the three games prior to his injury.