J. Hairston back after suffering migraines
Padres expect veteran to fill super-utility role
SAN DIEGO -- Jerry Hairston Jr. was back in the Padres starting lineup for Tuesday's series opener against the D-backs at PETCO Park after missing the entire weekend series against the Brewers in Milwaukee with migraine headaches.
Hairston hit leadoff on Tuesday and started at second base, allowing David Eckstein, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list because of a calf injury over the weekend, to have the day off.
Hairston, who said he had never had migraines in his life before last week, started feeling the headaches during the Padres' four-game series in Chicago last week, but the pain got much worse in Milwaukee.
"It hit me hard [in Milwaukee]," Hairston said. "You want to poke holes in your head to get rid of the pressure ... I was a mess."
Hairston said he could have played Sunday after taking medication throughout the weekend, but the Padres decided to play it safe and give him an additional day to get well.
The improved health of Hairston, combined with the return of Eckstein and the acquisition of Miguel Tejada, may finally allow Hairston to fill the utility player role that the Padres always thought he would when they signed him in the offseason.
Injuries to Everth Cabrera and Eckstein forced the Padres to make Hairston the everyday shortstop or second baseman at various times this season, but now Hairston will likely be able to seamlessly transition between second, third and shortstop for the remainder of the season to spell Eckstein, Tejada and Chase Headley on certain days.
"That's a good thing -- his versatility, his flexibility," Padres manager Bud Black said. "That's how we envisioned it, but you never know what's going to happen during the course of the season. He's proven to be a very valuable part of our club, but there's no doubt that he gives us the flexibility to move him around the diamond and we don't lose a thing."
Hairston is batting .252 this season with 10 home runs, 49 RBIs and 51 runs scored.
Gwynn hopes to return if Friars make playoffs
SAN DIEGO -- Tony Gwynn has already done the math on when he could return from his broken hand if the average six-week recovery time holds true.
"Six weeks from surgery is Oct. 1," Gwynn said. "I already looked at it, so that's what I'm shooting for. If I get back earlier, that's even better."
Gwynn was back in the Padres' clubhouse on Tuesday sporting a cast on his right hand and arm after undergoing surgery on Friday to repair a broken hook of the hamate bone.
The outfielder has been encouraged by how the injury has responded since the procedure, and he remains confident that he will be able to return to action in October if the Padres earn a postseason berth.
"They told me to expect some numbness the first couple days [after surgery], and I had that in and out the first day and I haven't had it since," Gwynn said. "Usually when you're hurt, you just try to find all kinds of positives about what's going on that is an indication that you might be a quick heal, so I'm trying to use that. I've had movement of my hand the entire time and I haven't had any pain doing it."
Gwynn said he has not been able to do much baseball-wise since the surgery because he is not supposed to let the cast get wet. But, that cast may come off on Wednesday, which means he could then resume physical activities.
The outfielder originally injured his hand while taking a swing during last Wednesday's game against the Cubs and needed three X-rays taken by a hand specialist in Chicago before the break in the hamate bone was discovered.
"I'm not a doctor [and] don't look at very many X-rays, but when I saw it, I knew it was broken," Gwynn said.
The injury was later confirmed by a specialist in San Diego before Gwynn had the surgery to remove the broken piece and shave the remaining portion of the bone down so it wouldn't damage the tendons in the hand.
Gwynn was batting .212 with 17 stolen bases prior to the injury, but is regarded as one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.
Young to throw second simulated game soon
SAN DIEGO -- Padres right-hander Chris Young, on the 60-day disabled list with a strained shoulder since the first week of the season, will likely throw his second simulated game on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday as he continues to try to position himself to pitch in September.
Young threw four bullpen sessions in two weeks prior to his first simulated game on Saturday before the Padres' contest against the Brewers at Miller Park. He threw 38 pitches in that simulated game, and Padres manager Bud Black said that amount will likely increase during this week's session.
"I think each progression will be a little more intensity, a little bit more length as far as pitch count," Black said.
Gina Mizell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.