Villanueva is out of the lineup Sunday against the Braves, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Villanueva has started three of the last four games for San Diego, but will take a seat in favor of Cory Spangenberg in the series finale. It's been a bit of a rough stretch for the 26-year-old, who is in the midst of a 2-for-23 slump to bring his season-long batting average down to .223.
Villanueva returned to the lineup Sunday, going 1-for-4 with three strikeouts in a 3-1 win over Miami. Villanueva's production had petered out after a blazing-hot start to the campaign, so much so that he appeared to have fallen on the short side of a platoon at the hot corner with Cory Spangenberg. Villanueva's start against the right-handed Jose Urena on Sunday gives his fantasy owners hope that this may not be a strict platoon situation. The Padres are scheduled to face five right-handed starters beginning with their three-game set against the Cardinals on Monday, so how manager Andy Green distributes the playing time at third base during that stretch will be telling of who he has more faith in moving forward.
Villanueva is out of the lineup against Miami on Saturday. Villanueva will take a seat for the fourth time in the past six games as Cory Spangenberg draws another start at third base. Over the past 16 games, Villanueva is hitting just .184/.216/.408 with 15 strikeouts.
Villanueva is not in the lineup against Atlanta on Wednesday. Villanueva returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing the series opener due to an ankle bruise he suffered during Sunday's game. With the club having a scheduled day off Thursday, Villanueva will receive a couple more days to get back to 100 percent. Cory Spangenberg will man third base in his stead.
Villanueva (ankle) will start at third base and bat fourth against the Braves on Tuesday. Villanueva sustained a bruise after fouling a ball off his left ankle Sunday and was held out of the lineup Monday, but thankfully it appears to have been a minor issue. The 26-year-old started the season with a .338 average and 1.160 OPS with eight home runs in April, but is slashing .177/.210/.427 in 100 plate appearances since, although he has upped his home run total to 15.