Yonder Alonso's hand at '100 percent'

Yonder Alonso is swinging a bat again. Finally.

That much was clear Wednesday afternoon as the Padres’ first baseman hosted more than two dozen kids from a local branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater San Diego at Petco Park.

The 26-year-old Alonso treated the 4S Ranch children to lunch, a tour of the Padres’ clubhouse and led them through drills on the field and in the indoor batting cage. There, he demonstrated a smooth-left-handed swing that’s without pain for the first time since re-injuring his right hand on a checked swing in late August.

“It feels great,” Alonso said afterward. “I’m 100 percent. I’m healthy. I’m looking forward to getting started. I’m going to start doing my hitting stuff soon. … I’m getting ready for spring training.”

Alonso was on pace for 18 homers and 87 RBIs through the first third of the season when a pitch struck him on the right hand, breaking a metacarpal bone and sapping much of his hand strength upon returning to the lineup after missing more than a month of action. The second injury to the hand on Aug. 30 limited Alonso to a pair of pinch-runner appearances the last weekend of the season in San Francisco after trainers had ruled out swinging a bat for the rest of the season.

“I had a lot of tendon issues going on in there,” said Alonso, who slashed .281/.341/.368 over 97 games in 2013. “There was a lot of liquid. It was more about the time and getting it calm. I just didn’t have enough time (to return).”

Time, of course, is now on Alonso’s side.

Cleared to swing a bat again, Alonso said he is expected to ramp up baseball activities soon ahead of reporting for Spring Training in February when he’ll get acquainted with a few new teammates. He learned of the latest addition – Oakland outfielder Seth Smith in exchange for reliever Luke Gregerson – while attending the Major League Baseball’s Players Association meetings Tuesday in La Jolla with teammate Nick Hundley.

The move caught both off-guard, Alonso said.

“We were just as surprised as everyone,” Alonso said. “It’s really out of our control. Those things we can’t control. Our main priority is to be ready for February reporting dates. … That’s our main concern – making sure we’re healthy and ready for the San Diego Padres and being a competitive team.”

Alonso, at the very least, appears to be on that track.

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