Kinsler announced his retirement Friday and will move into a front-office role with the Padres, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The 37-year-old hangs up his cleats after spending 14 seasons in the majors, appearing for the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres. He'll finish his career with 257 homers, eighth among players whose primary position was second base, while Kinsler winds up agonizingly close to the 2,000-hit milestone with 1,999 hits and a .269/.337/.440 slash line. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2018, adding that accomplishment to his four All-Star appearances and two Gold Gloves. The Padres have Jurickson Profar lined up to take over at second base.
Kinsler was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday with a disc herniation in his neck, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Kinsler last appeared in a game Monday and hasn't made a start since July 19 following the promotion of Luis Urias. The veteran infielder woke up with pain in his neck Wednesday and it's unclear how long he's expected to be sidelined. Greg Garcia and the newly promoted Ty France figure to split time at second base with Fernando Tatis (back) also on the shelf, forcing Urias to slide over to shortstop from the keystone.
Kinsler pitched one scoreless inning in a loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, hitting one batter and giving up a single and two walks. He also slugged a two-run home run in his only at-bat. Kinsler was brought in for ninth-inning mop-up duty in the rout and held the Rays scoreless in spite of allowing four baserunners. He then stuck around for his turn at the plate in the bottom of the inning and knocked a two-run homer to left field, becoming the first pitcher in Padres history to hit a ninth-inning home run. With San Diego's youth movement in full swing, Kinsler has been glued to the bench of late -- his last start came against the Cubs on July 19.
Kinsler is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Cubs. Kinsler had been occupying the short end of a platoon with Greg Garcia at second base lately, but the 36-year-old had started the past two games with lefties on the hill for the opposition. San Diego will face southpaw Jose Quintana on Saturday, but Kinsler appears set to surrender his limited role at the keystone to top middle-infield prospect Luis Urias, who was recalled from Triple-A El Paso and will immediately enter the lineup. If Urias quickly finds success and solidifies himself as the everyday second baseman the rest of the season, Kinsler could be in danger of losing his spot on the roster, as the Padres may not be able to justify keeping him around as a second utility man behind Garcia.
Kinsler is out of the lineup for Sunday's game versus the Braves. Kinsler finds himself on the bench for the fourth time in the last five games while he is mired in a 2-for-18 slump. Greg Garcia receives another start at the keystone in the series finale.