Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson will return after missing more than two months while the Padres could be starting their last series for quite a while with shortstop Everth Cabrera available Friday night in San Diego.
Granderson missed the first month and a half of the season due to a fractured forearm, then returned for eight games before he broke his left pinkie May 24 at Tampa Bay. He went 4 for 15 in a rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton.
"I'm excited," Granderson told the Yankees' official website. "I'm anxious to help our team get back to the postseason. With (Derek) Jeter back, and with (Alfonso) Soriano now in the lineup, (Robinson) Cano will be getting more help."
San Diego (50-59), meanwhile, is bracing for bad news about Cabrera. The shortstop - along with injured Yankees star Alex Rodriguez - is involved in the Biogenesis case and could draw a suspension from Major League Baseball.
It was originally believed those suspensions would be handed down Friday, though now it appears they won't come until Monday.
"I can talk nothing about the situation and just wait for that moment," Cabrera said.
Cabrera leads the team in hits (102) and runs (52) and tops the NL in stolen bases (37).
"If it happens, it's going to be a tough one," manager Bud Black said. "He's been one of our better players when he's been out there. He was our All-Star. He's really come into his own this year and it's going to hurt, if that happens."
Granderson led the Yankees (56-51) with 43 homers in 2012. He figures to provide a boost for an offense that owns an AL-worst .368 slugging percentage with 91 homers for the league's second-lowest total.
"We're starting to get a little bit healthier," manager Joe Girardi said. "You get Grandy back and the one thing that he needs to take a page out of Jete's book, don't try to do too much, just be yourself and that will be good enough."
Jeter is 2 for 11 in three games since returning from a strained right quadriceps, going 0 for 7 as the Yankees split two games against the Dodgers this week to start an eight-game trip.
"Once again, just 'cause Curtis is back, doesn't mean you can just sit back and relax," Jeter said. "Everybody has a job to do and everyone has to do it."
The Yankees are visiting Petco Park for the first time. They took two of three in 2002 in their last visit to San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium, where they also went 2-0 in the 1998 World Series.
New York will try to avoid losing five straight outings by CC Sabathia (9-9, 4.65 ERA) for the first time. He is 0-3 with a 7.83 ERA in his last four, yielding seven runs in each of the last two.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in four starts against the Padres but hasn't faced them since 2008.
The San Diego hitter he has faced the most is Carlos Quentin, who is 4 for 22 against Sabathia. Quentin expects to return after a knee injury kept him out of Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Cincinnati that ended a four-game win streak.
Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (7-5, 3.88) seeks to win three straight starts for the first time in his career. He's given up three runs over six innings in each of the last two, yielding a combined seven hits.
Cashner has never faced New York.