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A giddy Luke Voit, in his second game back from the injured list, after hitting his second home run Wednesday. Photo credit: Screen shot, @Padres via Twitter

The Padres had an an off day Thursday after dropping two of three to the Chicago Cubs – also-rans so far in the National League Central – as they wrapped up a 4-3 home stand.

So the Friars head to Atlanta still trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 1.5 games in the division. They also do so with some players already back or on the verge of returning from injuries, and a manager who’s contending with an ailment as well.

  • Bob Melvin – will remain out at least until May 20, according to MLB.com, following what the team called successful prostate surgery Wednesday. Bench coach Ryan Christenson has taken the helm again after he subbed for Melvin last week.
  • Wil Myers – “I feel as ready as I can be,” Myers told MLB of his return from a thumb bruise. In two games against the Cubs, he went 1-for-9 with one RBI.
  • Luke Voit – came back strong from right biceps tightness Wednesday with two homers, his first in a San Diego uniform. In the losing effort Wednesday, he went 3-for-5, knocked in two and scored three.
  • Blake Snell – is targeted for a return from his groin injury in the middle of the road trip, MLB reported, which will trigger a decision Padres watchers have been anticipating – who gives way in the rotation for the former Cy Young Award winner, rookie MacKenzie Gore (2-1, 2.42 ERA) or the more seasoned Nick Martinez (2-2, 4.40 ERA)?

In addition, with Myers’ and Voit’s returns, the Padres sent rookie CJ Abrams, who has struggled in the bigs, down to El Paso.

The 20-12 Padres start the road trip against the 15-17 Braves, and will send Yu Darvish, Sean Manaea and Joe Musgrove to the mound. After another off day Monday, they head to Philadelphia and San Francisco.

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