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Are Schimpf, Jankowski slumps a concern?

Spangenberg off to .371 start at Triple-A El Paso
San Diego Padres

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

There comes a point when baseball's early-season "small sample size" tilts toward becoming a trend.   

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

There comes a point when baseball's early-season "small sample size" tilts toward becoming a trend.   

Many in baseball think you need to have a month of the season or 100 at-bats before you can start drawing conclusions. Others press the panic button before that, but most agree that slumps that extend into May become concerns. 

Going into the last week of April, the Padres have four regulars hitting under .200 after 20 games.   

Over the past two weeks, two of the slumping Padres have shown signs to catching fire.   

In fact, it's safe to say that catcher Austin Hedges has put the 0-for-24 start to his season behind him. Hedges is 8-for-26 since then with two doubles, five homers and 10 RBIs. He has homered in five of his last seven starts. And he is now hitting .175 with a .474 on-base percentage.  

And shortstop Eric Aybar had two game-winning hits -- a homer and a two-run double -- last week. While he was only 4-for-18, he drove in four runs and raised his average from .135 to .164.  

But things haven't been improving for third baseman Ryan Schimpf and left fielder Travis Jankowski.   

Jankowski might have a partial excuse. He has been playing hurt since he fouled a ball off his foot near the end of the Padres' last road trip in Atlanta. 

"Asking Jankowski to play without his speed is like asking a pitcher with a 98-mph fastball to work at 85 mph," Padres manager Andy Green said Sunday. "I probably didn't do Travis any favors sending him out there at reduced speed."   

Green gave Jankowski Sunday off to rest. Although he has four hits over his last 15 at-bats with his first extra-base hit of the season, all of the eighth outs came via a strikeout. On the season, Jankowski was 8-for-50 with 21 strikeouts. His batting average is .160.

Schimpf also got Sunday off. His batting average is down to .109. His on-base percentage is still .273 thanks to 15 walks. But he has also struck out 22 times in 55 at-bats -- or 40 percent. Schimpf has one hit in his last 22 at-bats while reaching base only three times in his last 24 plate appearances.  

Meanwhile, Cory Spangenberg is hitting .371 at Triple-A El Paso while playing third base. He has seven multihit games in his last 10 starts.  

GAME NOTES

Manuel Margot was 2-for-3 with a walk Sunday and was 6-for-12 in the three-game series against the Marlins. The rookie lead-off hitter also opened the game with a single for the Padres and is 9-for-16 with a walk in his game-opening plate appearance in the 17 games he's appeared as the Padres leadoff hitter.

Wil Myers was 1-for-4 Sunday, although he bounced into a double play with two-on and one-out in the fifth with a chance to pad a 3-0 Padres lead. Myers has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games. He is hitting .389 (21-for-54) during the run with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, eight RBIs and seven runs scored.

• The Padres are now 0-3 on Sundays this season. They were 6-20 on Sundays last year. They are 2-4 in the finale of series this season and 14-44 in the last game of a series since the start of the 2016 season. They are 2-5 in day games this season after going 15-35 in day games last season.

Craig Stammen has given up eight runs on seven hits, including three homers, and two walks over 3 2/3 innings in his last four outings. In his four previous outings for the Padres, Stammen allowed no runs on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. He now has a 9.00 ERA.

San Diego Padres