Padres: Three spring surprises so far in Cactus League play

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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Eric Hosmer / Padres
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Padres hoping Eric Hosmer gets going before Opening Day

Last season, Eric Hosmer tweaked his approach offensively and it paid off – big time. The former World Series champion put up the second highest OPS+ of his career (131) and put up a personal-best .517 slugging percentage.

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Earlier this spring, I wrote that Tingler should consider platooning Hosmer at first base, keeping him fresh throughout the season and placing him in advantageous matchups. But right now, it doesn’t much matter who the Friars’ first baseman is facing: he’s not doing any damage.

Through an admittedly small 13 at-bats, Hosmer is yet to draw a walk (hardly a surprise given his career numbers) but is batting a horrendous .077/.077/.308. His lone hit? A two-run home run.

While Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado will anchor this lineup, Hosmer – a healthy, productive Hosmer, that is – would greatly lengthen it and make matchups far more difficult for opposing hitters.

There’s still plenty of time for Hosmer to turn it around. But the early returns aren’t what you’re looking for from a guy making $21 million this season,