Eckstein hits, takes infield on Tuesday night
No timetable yet for second baseman's return from DL
SAN DIEGO -- Padres second baseman David Eckstein, on the 15-day disabled list since July 21 with a strained right calf, hit and took infield before Tuesday's contest against Pittsburgh at PETCO Park, but there is still no specific timetable on when he return to the San Diego lineup.
Eckstein, who also missed seven starts in mid-July with a similar injury, said he did not feel any pain in his calf during the drills but that the Padres are remaining cautious with the injury.
"The biggest thing about it is just making sure everything gets out of the calf," Eckstein said. "There's definitely still a spot that is tight, there's still a little stuff in there and they don't want a chance of re-straining that. We want to make sure that gets out of there, and then we'll start taking the next step."
Padres manager Bud Black said it will likely be four or five days before Eckstein starts running.
Young continues rehab with bullpen session
SAN DIEGO -- Padres starting pitcher Chris Young threw a second bullpen session before Tuesday's game against the Pirates at PETCO Park as he continues to try to work his way back from a shoulder injury that has kept him on the 60-day disabled list since early April.
Young, who made his only start of the season on April 6, threw about 40 pitches and said that his arm felt better than it did during his 30-pitch session in Arizona on Saturday.
"It's just the arm, making sure it feels normal and that I'm not favoring anything," Young said. "Then, [I'm] just trying to increase the volume a little bit, and along with that comes the intensity, too. I think there was a little more on the ball today. Everything felt good, and it's just another step in the right direction."
When Young's next bullpen session will take place has yet to be determined, but he said he will be on San Diego's road trip, which begins on Friday in San Francisco, to continue rehabbing. And though Young is hopeful that he will be able to return to the mound for the Padres in 2010, he said he realizes he still has a lot of recovering to do before reaching that goal.
"There have been a lot of painful times," Young said. "I've tried to play catch, and it just hasn't been there. [My shoulder has] come a long way the last few weeks, and I'm happy and excited about that, but there's still a long way to go, so I try not to get too excited or too ahead of myself.
"Each bullpen reminds me of how far I have to go in terms of stuff and sharpness and everything else, but you've got to start somewhere, and I'm just trying to work my way up the ladder."
Padres manager Bud Black said that while his club would certainly welcome back Young if his shoulder returns to full strength, he cannot count on that scenario happening.
"It's unfair to really put any expectations on what's going to happen with CY," Black said. "Anything that we get would be a bonus, and I just hope he gets there. For him, it would be awesome if he was able to come back. For us, too."
Hairston starts despite battling shin splints
SAN DIEGO -- Padres infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. started at second base and hit leadoff in Tuesday's game against the Pirates despite battling shin splints that clearly hampered him as he rounded the bases on a home run hit by Chris Denorfia on Sunday in Arizona.
Hairston said the shin splints in his right leg popped up last week in Los Angeles and got progressively worse in Arizona. He used the Padres' off-day on Monday to rest and ice the injury and has also been getting ultrasound treatment.
"I haven't had shin splints since I was in high school playing basketball," Hairston said. "Usually, they're in both legs, and fortunately it's only in my right leg. Hopefully it stays there and gets out."
Hairston started six of San Diego's seven games at second base on its most recent road trip, with Everth Cabrera getting the nod at that position on Saturday against the D-backs.
Padres not looking past Pirates
SAN DIEGO -- Though it may be easy for outsiders to look ahead to the much-anticipated series between the National League West-leading Padres and second-place Giants this weekend in San Francisco, those in the San Diego clubhouse aren't buying into the hype quite yet.
Instead, they'll cross that bridge when it comes, which isn't until a three-game set against the Pirates has been completed.
"We need a good effort from [Padres starter Wade LeBlanc] tonight, we need to get after [Pirates starter Jeff Karstens], we need to play defense," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We'll see the outcome of tonight's game before we talk about anything else."
Though this series, which is wedged between a seven-game road trip just completed and another 10-game trip starting Friday, could allow the Padres to create some distance between themselves and the Giants at home before the division rivals lock heads, infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. said San Diego cannot take the club that currently sits in the cellar of the NL Central lightly.
After all, the Padres are coming off a weekend series loss to the D-backs, who sit in last place in the NL West.
"At this point, every series is a must-win series," Hairston said. "Give the Pirates some credit, they've got some good young players over there. They've given the Rockies fit, I know.
"Anytime you've got young players, they're all to prove that they belong in the big leagues. They're young and hungry, and hopefully we play well this series."
Gina Mizell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.