SAN FRANCISCO -- By the time Padres outfielder Scott Hairston put the squeeze on the final out of Monday's 8-4 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park, catcher Michael Barrett was on a flight back to San Diego to have an MRI on his right elbow.
Barrett, who started the game, left in the sixth inning with what the team called a right elbow strain. The extent of the strain won't be known until Tuesday when he will undergo an MRI in San Diego.
Barrett will be placed on the disabled list Tuesday, and catcher Colt Morton, currently with Double-A San Antonio, will be recalled to take his place on the roster.
"He's certainly in a lot of pain. It's in an area that's not a good area; it's around the nerve, which bears some concern," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "Until we know if it's short term or long term, we're not going to panic just yet."
The Padres were unable to pinpoint the exact cause of Barrett's injury Monday, though it's believe to have occurred while he made a throw back to pitcher Greg Maddux or a throw to second base between innings.
Towers said Barrett admitted that his shoulder felt tight before the game, which might have affected how he threw the ball during the game.
The Padres first noticed something was wrong with Barrett in the fourth inning when he went to the mound to talk with Maddux with one out in the inning. San Diego manager Bud Black and assistant trainer Paul Navarro then joined the two.
"He mentioned that on the third previous pitch, he felt a tingling sensation in his fingers and a spasm in his forearm a little bit," Black said.
Barrett made two practice throws to third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and remained in the game. He grounded into a double play to end the fifth inning and was then replaced on defense by Josh Bard to start the sixth inning.
Barrett was administered a series of tests between innings by the Giants training staff. That's when he complained of pain in his elbow. That was enough for the Padres, who sent Barrett back to San Diego to meet with team doctors.
"He couldn't throw it back to me. ... I knew something was wrong when it bounced," Maddux said. "I hope he's all right. [He's a] good dude, good catcher. We need him."
For now, the Padres will go with Bard at catcher with Morton backing him up. Justin Huber, an outfielder, is a former Minor League catcher and could certainly play the position in a pinch.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed that he just aggravated the nerve and there's no damage to the ligament," Towers said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.