Hoffpauir coming back from injury

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NATCHEZ — Former Vidalia baseball star Jarrett Hoffpauir was ready to make his mark this spring with the San Diego Padres in hopes of making the opening day roster. But after sustaining a nagging quadriceps injury early in spring training, Hoffpauir is just now making his way back on the field.

Hoffpauir said he pulled his right quad about two weeks into spring training and, after playing on the injury for a while, was forced to shut it down for a couple of months. The good news is Hoffpauir feels that he is making his way back, he said.

“I feel a lot better actually,” Hoffpauir said. “I had no problems with it the past two weeks or so, and I’m hoping to keep it that way.”

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I come off of the disabled list the end of May, and I don’t know what the plans are after that.”

Hoffpauir said he has played a couple of games this week for the Tucson Padres, San Diego’s AAA affiliate.

“The leg felt great, I’m a little behind baseball wise, the game is fast right now,” Hoffpauir said. “I am more worried about keeping my leg healthy (right now),”

I was talking to my wife about (the game Sunday), my first game (back), and I just told her that I actually was having fun being back on the baseball field. You take it for granted being out there everyday.”

It is understandable that Hoffpauir is showing some rust coming off his injury. He was very limited in what he was able to practice while rehabbing, he said.

“I really couldn’t do a whole lot. They kept me off my feet,” Hoffpauir said. “I could hit in the cages off a tee and keep my arm in shape, but I couldn’t take many ground balls and didn’t hit live batting practice very much. That’s part of kind of working back into things.”

Hoffpauir, who plays second base, third base and shortstop, said his injury was made more frustrating by the fact that he was satisfied with his play before the injury.

“It was pretty frustrating, especially when you’re right on the verge of making the team,” Hoffpauir said. “I felt like I was where I needed to be, swinging and fielding. Now it feels like I’m starting all over again, that’s the most frustrating part.”

The utility infielder has already had time at the major league level with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays, but he said a lot of things could happen when he comes off the disabled list at the end of the month.

“I am out of options so if they send me to the minor leagues I have to clear wavers again,” Hoffpauir said.

However, he feels that he will be ready to go if his name is called, he said.

“It’s just what (the Padres’) needs are, I feel like I’m ready to be there. It’s just a matter of what they need,” Hoffpauir said.

I (just need to) show that I can stay healthy and play all three infield positions.”