Padres looking to simply stay healthy

Mark Loretta

Here's the Padres' goal for their final three games of the first half in Denver: Don't get hurt.

San Diego should finish the first half of the season atop the staggering National League West. But that's not their biggest concern as they approach the All-Star break.

"Sooner or later, we're going to be healthy," said manager Bruce Bochy. The soonest that appears possible is after the break.

Half-jokingly, Bochy said earlier this week that 2B Mark Loretta "might be the first guy returning" from a disabled list that includes 1B Phil Nevin (strained left oblique), C Ramon Hernandez (sprained left wrist) and RHP Adam Eaton (strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger).

Loretta has been on the 60-day disabled list following surgery to repair a tendon tear in his left thumb. He is not eligible to return until July 19.

But only one other player is expected back before then.

Hernandez might return to the Padres starting lineup Friday night in Colorado. But Nevin and Eaton will both be held out through the All-Star break. The Padres will end the first half of the season with either LHP Dennys Reyes or RHP Pedro Astacio starting Sunday's game at Coors Field.

Said Nevin: "I doubt I'll be playing before the break. It wouldn't really make sense."

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