8/31/2014 4:19 P.M. ET
Spangenberg calls big league callup 'surreal'
By Tim Powers / Special to MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- As the September roster expansion approaches, it is common to see new faces around the Padres' clubhouse. One such new face, and one that seemingly is always smiling, belongs to former first-round Draft pick Cory Spangenberg, who will be added to the roster on Monday.
Spangenberg was in the clubhouse prior to Sunday's game, and after a spelling error was corrected on the nameplate above his new locker, the infielder and converted outfielder was getting settled and taking it all in.
"It's a surreal feeling," Spangenberg said. "You always dream of getting called up, and when it happens, everyone is just so excited for you."
It has been a trying year for Spangenberg, whom the Padres selected with their first pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old suffered his second concussion in as many years when he was hit in the helmet with an opposing player's knee while sliding headfirst into second base.
"It was my second one in two years, so it was pretty tough," said Spangenberg, whose first concussion came when he was hit in the head with a ball while playing catch with a teammate. "I was getting headaches every day for two months, and the worst part is you can't do anything about it. You just have to sit there and wait until it gets better."
The injury sidelined Spangenberg for two months, but upon returning to Double-A San Antonio, he showed no ill effects and improved his batting average to .331 with a .365 on-base percentage and a .470 slugging percentage. Those marks were enough to earn him his first callup to the Majors, where he will fill in occasionally at second base for Jedd Gyorko, in addition to seeing some action at third base, according to manager Bud Black.
While Spangenberg has been playing some center field, he likely won't see any time in the outfield during September. As the club tries to increase his versatility, however, he will work prior to games with coaches Dave Roberts and Jose Valentin.
"We've tried to increase his worth to us by moving him around the diamond. He has played some third, played some center," Black said. "I suspect that here, he is going to play in the infield. He's going to do some work in the outfield pregame, and we want to expose him to the outfield."
Wherever he plays, Spangenberg will be thrilled to be there as he relishes in the opportunity to be on a Major League roster.
"It's an unbelievable experience," Spangenberg said. "Just being here is a privilege. I'm excited to get out there."
• Black said shortstop Everth Cabrera is close to going on a rehab assignment as he recovers from a left hamstring injury. Black hoped Cabrera could join Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore on Wednesday. Cabrera has been out since Aug. 10 with the injury.
• Joaquin Benoit's sore right shoulder will keep him sidelined for now, but Black is confident the reliever will pitch again this season. Black said the soreness is just due to wear and tear, and it is not a serious injury.
Tim Powers is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.