May 19, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso (23) is congratulated by second baseman Jedd Gyorko (9) after a home run during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jedd Gyorko, Yonder Alonso Inching Closer to Return


San Diego Padres’ 2B Jedd Gyorko and 1B Yonder Alonso, who have both been on the DL since mid-June, are creeping closer to a return to the lineup.

Gyorko who has been out since June 6th, dealing with plantar fasciitis, and will resume hitting in a cage this weekend according to manager Bud Black via Corey Brock of MLB.com.

“Some soft toss, some tee work,” Black said to Brock. ”Probably no on-field activity for a couple days after, but he’s getting closer.”

While Gyorko’s return to the team is great news for the Padres, he was sporting the worst batting average for qualified players (.162) before his injury. Nonetheless, he will be a welcomed return, because San Diego has not seen great production from Alexi Amarista, Jace Peterson, and Irving Falu, the three players who are replacing him.

Alonso, who has been on the DL since June 19 due to wrist tendinitis, may be a little farther off in his recovery than Gyorko, but is still progressing in his rehab. Black says he will not return to the lineup before the All-Star Game, and will not travel with the team.

“He’ll work here and get treatment with our guys who stay back,” Black said to Brock before Friday’s series opener with the Giants at Petco Park. “But he’s feeling better.”

As mentioned before, even though Gyorko had struggled before going on the DL the Padres are confident he can return to his 2013 production where he led NL rookies in home runs. Alonso on the other hand may be a different story.

Fill-in Tommy Medica who arguably had the best spring training in baseball is proving to be a valuable asset for the offense. Alonso was heating up before the tendinitis kicked in, but is still only batting .210 with five homers, not the kind of production you are looking for from your first baseman.

Expect Gyorko to be a main stay in the lineup the second he gets reinstated, but it will be interesting to see how Black will handle first base. We saw early in the season that Medica struggled to hit the ground running when not getting every day at bats, but is now flourishing in his new role. The most likely outcome will be a platoon situation between the right and left handed batters, with Medica also garnering some time in the outfield.

Along with Gyorko and Alonso, starting pitchers Andrew Cashner and Robbie Erlin are both creeping closer to a return according to Brock.  Cashner was able to play catch again yesterday after beginning to throw on Wednesday, while Erlin is scheduled for his first bullpen session this weekend.

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Tags: Injury Update Jedd Gyorko San Diego Padres Yonder Alonso