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08/12/08 11:10 PM ET
Kazmar gets unexpected call
Padres summon shortstop from Double-A
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Sean Kazmar was preparing to take a six-game road trip to Missouri and Arkansas with Double-A San Antonio on Monday when he was informed he was headed somewhere else -- San Diego. Kazmar, 24, had his contract purchased by the Padres on Tuesday and was added to the 40-man roster when the team placed right-handed reliever Bryan Corey on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Kazmar, a shortstop, was in uniform for Tuesday's game against Milwaukee at PETCO Park. "I never thought it would have happened," Kazmar said Tuesday. "It was actually a real shock to me." That's because Kazmar -- the Padres' fifth-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- hasn't played above the Double-A level in his career and would likely have been on San Antonio's road swing to Missouri and Arkansas had shortstop Khalil Greene not fractured his left hand last month. The Padres recalled Kazmar to give them another viable option at shortstop, someone to back up Luis Rodriguez, who was the only true shortstop on the roster. The Padres needed someone to handle the position defensively, and Kazmar fit the bill. "He's the best guy we have to play shortstop," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He has shown a little bit of bat in the Minor Leagues. We saw him the last couple of springs, and he swung the bat pretty well. He's a gritty, gutty-type player." Kazmar, who turned 24 on Aug. 5, was hitting .264 with three home runs and 39 RBIs in 111 games. He got off to a slow start, hitting .203 in April and .193 in May before getting hot in June, when Kazmar hit .356. "I felt like my first month and a half, I struggled a little bit," Kazmar said. "I was able to turn it around and stay consistent the next few months. But I never really had any long periods when I was playing bad. I was staying consistent offensively and defensively." Corey, 34, suffered the hamstring injury during his last appearance on Aug. 9 in Denver against the Rockies. He was 1-3 with a 6.80 ERA in 23 games this season, though he's allowed 13 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings since the All-Star break.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.