Padres optimistic Eric Hosmer will be back before season’s end

A fractured finger will sideline him for a bit, but the Padres are optimistic Eric Hosmer will be back before the regular season is over.

In the first inning Monday night against Colorado, San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer decided to bunt with two strikes. He paid for that decision, fouling into a strikeout and suffering a fractured left index finger for his effort.

But on Monday some good news came. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune,  the Padres are hopeful Hosmer will be able to return during the last week of the regular season.

The location of the injury is apparently fortunate, in line with the fact Hosmer bats left-handed (left hand is top hand, and the index finger is not a heavy pressure point) and plays first base. Throwing is not a primary part of that job, so pain tolerance seems to be the biggest factor in him returning before the regular season ends. Acee further reported the bone should be healed sufficiently by the postseason.

Spurred by hitting more fly balls (35.8 percent), Hosmer is having his best season of three as a Padre since signing an eight-year, $144 million contract. He has a slash-line of .288/.344/.542 with eight home runs and 32 RBI with career-highs in OPS+ (140) and wRC+ (137) over 128 plate appearances.

What will the Padres do without Eric Hosmer?

When Hosmer missed some time earlier with a stomach issue, Jake Cronenworth and Ty France filled in at first base. But the Padres acquired Mitch Moreland from the Boston Red Sox before the trade deadline, and he is in line to take over the bulk of the time at first base now.

Moreland is a dismal 2-for-19 in six games for the Padres (entering Tuesday), but his overall numbers this season are still quite good (.279/.374/.605, eight home runs, 21 RBI).

San Diego is 26-17 entering Tuesday, and they hold the No. 1 wild card spot in National League. Hosmer’s injury is not ideal, but a return to the playoffs is still on the rails.

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