ATLANTA -- Yonder Alonso returned to the Padres lineup Saturday after missing 30 games with tendinitis in his right wrist. He started at first base against the Braves and batted seventh.
"I feel good, there's no pain, no swelling, the hand feels good, the body feels good," Alonso said. "I was playing pretty well, had some good at-bats. I was feeling good with my hand and taking good swings."
Alonso hit a combined .280 in 25 Minor League at-bats between the team's entry in the Arizona League and Triple-A El Paso during his Minor League rehabilitation stint, going 1-for-3 on Friday for El Paso against Fresno before taking a morning flight to Atlanta.
At the time he landed on the disabled list, Alonso was hitting .210 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 244 plate appearances over 69 games.
To make room for Alonso on the 25-man roster, the Padres optioned first baseman Jake Goebbert to El Paso. Manager Bud Black informed Goebbert of the move following Friday's 5-2 victory over the Braves.
Goebbert, who was promoted from El Paso on June 19, hit .250 in 48 at-bats in his first big league stint. He had one home run and three RBIs, but had three hits in his last 21 at-bats.
Alonso was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 19, retroactive to June 17. The team used several players in his place, including Goebbert and Tommy Medica, who had three hits Thursday and a career-high four hits in Friday's victory over the Braves.
Medica got the start on Saturday in left field, but it's clear that if he keeps hitting he could find a spot in the lineup somewhere -- left field or first base.
"It depends on how he's swinging the bat," Black said.
As for Alonso, he'll continue to watch his hand, which has certainly given him fits the last two seasons. He had a fracture in the hand last season that bothered him much of the season. He didn't have an at-bat during the final month of the season.
This season, Alonso got off to a slow start at the plate with a hand that would bother him one day and feel fine the next.
"There was discomfort. And as a baseball player and an athlete, you try to overcome that, but I couldn't do that. It was so inconsistent. I wonder how tomorrow was going to be. Can I turn on a fastball, can I stay back? It was something that lingered on," he said.
"Now I have to make sure I'm watching it, getting my treatment, make sure I'm careful. I just have to be smart with it. It feels good. It's a relief to feel normal. Your hands are very crucial. I need my hands."