The San Diego Padres (27-26) still have their share of flaws, but one area they excel in is compiling infield depth. President of baseball operations A.J. Preller prides himself on being able to acquire a versatile position player who can pack some pop at the plate. The philosophy has not always translated to wins, but it sure comes in handy when an injury occurs.

Some players carry value that goes beyond the metrics, though. The Padres are still processing the latest news that Xander Bogaerts will “miss significant time” with a shoulder fracture.

“It's like losing half of our body,” Fernando Tatis Jr. told the media, per 97.3 The Fan. “Xander is a great player. We are definitely going to be missing him in the time he's out, but we're going to hold the line for him until he'll come back and hopefully he'll come 100 percent.”

Players who are batting only .219 with a .316 slugging percentage and .581 OPS are not typically considered essential for a club's survival, but Bogaerts' frightful first two months obviously do not tell the whole story.

He endured a tough stretch during the spring and early-summer of 2023 before reclaiming his All-Star production by the end of the year. The 31-year-old batted .285 and hit 19 home runs while playing 155 games last season, starting his 11-year, $280 million contract on the right foot.

More than just his stats, though, Bogaerts provides exemplary leadership and a ton of big-game experience (won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox). He is beloved by teammates and fans alike, which can be crucial for a team with San Diego's knack for inconsistency.

Padres ownership might not be overly focused on Xander Bogaerts' intangibles, though. Their monster investment is in jeopardy of crumbling well before the midway point.

Can Xander Bogaerts bounce back and stay productive for Padres?

an Diego Padres second baseman Xander Bogaerts (2) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Colorado Rockies during the second inning at Petco Park.
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to these 10-year-plus deals, it is unwise to look ahead. Teams and fans know the move is a gross overpay, and they accept it as long as it leads to substantial success for the first several years. But Bogaerts' nascent tenure in San Diego has been overshadowed by collective failures and harsh individual truths.

The five-time Silver Slugger-winning shortstop was moved to second base before the start of the 2024 season, quite a bit earlier than he expected or hoped when he signed with the club more than 17 months ago. Now, he is sidelined with a serious injury. This could just be a season to forget for the Aruba-born athlete. Though, there is also a chance this is a sign of what is to come across the next decade.

San Diego has suffered through enough back-breaking setbacks throughout this century, so fans will want to stay positive through this ordeal. Luis Arraez is making it easy to refrain from thinking about any nightmarish scenarios with his historic hitting streak, and guys like Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. should be too talented to fly under-the-radar for much longer.

Ergo, there are still reasons for fans to feel optimistic about Friars baseball. The Padres will look to stay in playoff contention until Xander Bogaerts hopefully returns at some point this year, starting with a grueling test against the American League-leading New York Yankees (35-17) in Petco Park.