Eckstein heading to Class A for rehab

Eckstein heading to Class A for rehab

CHICAGO -- At one point last week, Padres second baseman David Eckstein followed a question about his right calf strain with one query of his own.

"Do you know how many times I've gone on a rehab assignment?" Eckstein asked. "None."

That's not quite true, as Eckstein played five games with Dunedin, Fla., in 2008 when he was with the Blue Jays. But other than that, he hasn't played in a Minor League game since the 2000 season.

Eckstein is about to get another dose of the Minor Leagues on Wednesday when he will play the first of what is supposed to be three games with Class A Fort Wayne in a road series against West Michigan of the Midwest League.

And where does West Michigan play?

"Grand Rapids," Eckstein said, smiling. "I just looked it up."

Eckstein, who on Monday missed his 25th consecutive game with the injury, will play in three games, likely increasing the number of innings from five to seven and then nine in the final game on Friday.

Eckstein will then fly to Milwaukee to join the Padres, who begin a three-game series on Friday against the Brewers at Miller Park.

"For me, it's to test it in live competition. I don't care about the at-bats," Eckstein said before taking part in hitting and infield drills prior to the Padres game against the Cubs.

"It's just more making sure my body is healthy."