SAN DIEGO -- The heart of the Padres' order returned to the heart of the Padres' order on Friday night.First baseman Eric Hosmer was reinstated from the family leave list ahead of Friday's 5-1 loss to the Mets, while third baseman Christian Villanueva also returned after battling a tight left
SAN DIEGO -- The heart of the Padres' order returned to the heart of the Padres' order on Friday night.
First baseman Eric Hosmer was reinstated from the family leave list ahead of Friday's 5-1 loss to the Mets, while third baseman Christian Villanueva also returned after battling a tight left hamstring during the week. Hosmer was in the lineup batting second, while Villanueva will hit third.
The Padres had been without Villanueva since Monday and without Hosmer since Tuesday. The offense mostly slumped in their absence, scoring two runs over the final two games of their series against the Rockies.
Villanueva led the National League with a .355 batting average and a .774 OPS at the time of his injury -- though his lost at-bats in Denver mean he no longer qualifies for those leaderboards.
Hosmer, meanwhile, appeared poised to break out of his early-season funk after he reached base six times on Monday night. But he missed the final two games of that series while on family leave. Hosmer is batting .259/.364/.412 with two home runs this season.
"It's great to have him back," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He's the heart of the order, and a guy we're going to rely on heavily."
To clear space on the 25-man roster for Hosmer, the club optioned utility man Cory Spangenberg to Triple-A El Paso. After a red-hot Spring Training, Spangenberg hasn't found much playing time this season. Splitting time at second, third and left, Spangenberg is hitting .196 with a pair of homers.
Meanwhile, lefty reliever Buddy Baumann was claimed off waivers by the Mets, who assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Baumann -- who still must serve a one-game suspension for his role in the brawl in Colorado when he returns to the big leagues -- was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Myers destined for leadoff role?
With Hosmer and Villanueva back in the lineup, Green moved right fielder William Myers into the leadoff spot for the first time this season. It probably won't be the last.
"It's our best attempt to come at you right out of the chute," Green said of putting his top three hitters in the first three spots. "We've struggled to get on base at the top of the lineup this year, and Wil's a guy that's done that."
Myers has already begun to embrace his role as leadoff man. He's batted first 58 times in his career, and his .347 OBP is 17 points higher than his overall mark.
"As a leadoff hitter, you have a job to do every at-bat," Myers said. "Even if you're struggling, you've got a job to do -- to get on base, to score runs. I've really enjoyed being the leadoff hitter. My job now is to get on base and score runs."
Renfroe begins throwing
Ailing outfielder Hunter Renfroe resumed throwing Friday, the first time he'd done so since he was placed on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation earlier this month. There's not yet a timetable for Renfroe's return, though it's likely he'll need a short rehab stint before doing so.
In the meantime, the Padres' outfield is already crowded. Manuel Margot received the night off Friday, and Green indicated he plans to play matchups while rotating Margot, Pirela, Franchy Cordero and second baseman Carlos Asuaje for three spots. (Pirela could slide into the infield to take Asuaje's spot when the matchups dictate as much.)
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.