Yonder Alonso: 'Hopefully I'll be back' with Padres

By virtue of the trade that brought him to San Diego, Yonder Alonso was Josh Byrnes’ guy. How that relates to the beleaguered first baseman’s standing with the Padres is of no consequence to his long-term future even as A.J. Preller settles into his role as the club’s general manager.

That much Alonso is sure of.

“In the long-term, I’m a baseball player,” Alonso said Tuesday while taking a break from his rehab in Los Angeles. “I don’t deal with the business side of it, but I think we have really good people here, really good guys that make really good decisions (as far as) the guys that came in. They know the game, they know baseball and they know what I can bring.

“I have a track record and hopefully they know that. Hopefully I’ll be back. Right now, it’s a matter of going out there and getting healthy.”

On that front, Alonso – who could be a non-tender candidate as he enters his first year of arbitration – is making significant progress since undergoing season-ending surgery on a ruptured tendon in a right wrist.

In the procedure, doctors snipped off the end of a damaged tendon and anchored the rest of it to his bone. The tendon in question – which doesn’t serve any baseball-related functions, Alonso said – was originally damaged when a runaway pitch broke a bone in his right hand last year.

Injections had healed the tendon at different points well enough to swing a bat until the latest setback forced Alonso to look into a different course of action. The one he settled on comes with a five- to six-week rehab – instead of the original five-month prognosis.

“It’s funny because I got the surgery and four days later, the doctor took off the cast and said, ‘Alright, start moving it,’” Alonso said. “Next thing you know I’m moving it and it doesn’t hurt. When I got hurt, I couldn’t even pick up a hanger – that simple movement hurt (before).”

Not anymore.

Both Alonso and his doctors believe he’s well on his way to a 100 percent recovery. He expects to move through a normal offseason at the conclusion of his rehab with an eye on starting spring training at full strength.

Alonso, of course, thought he was on his way to full strength when he hit .421/.471/.737 in his first 15 games off the disabled list shortly after the all-star break. That production, Alonso said, is a glimpse of the hitter that the Padres can expect if Preller elects to bring him back for a fourth season in San Diego.

“In that three- to four-week period when I was really hitting well, I had no pain; I had nothing,” said Alonso, who raised his average from .210 to .240 over that period. “That’s something I feel I can do on a regular basis. If I’m healthy, if I don’t have anything going on with my hands, I can become the player I was for those three weeks – but on a 27-week period.

“You’ve got your ups and downs in baseball. My thing is just to continue on this path and continue to be as healthy as I can and go play baseball.”

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