Diamondback second baseman Aaron Hill is progressing slower than many, including GM Kevin Towers, expected, tweets Nick Piecoro. Hill suffered a fractured left hand on April 9 against the Pirates. Initial estimates had Hill missing 4-6 weeks which put him on track for a mid-May return, but Towers says even a late May return would be a best-case scenario for Hill.
Hill was off to a hot start, hitting .306 with two home runs in 42 plate appearances after slugging 26 homers in 2012. In his absence, the Diamondbacks have used Cliff Pennington, Josh Wilson, and Martin Prado at second base.
The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.
Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.
Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.
Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.