Although he led NL second basemen with 13 errors in strike-shortened 1981, Bonilla made a good beginning with the Padres, hitting .290 in 99 games and showing good range afield. A broken wrist and rehabilitation from drug abuse shelved him for most of the 1982 season. In 1983 his BA skidded to .237. When he held out the following year, he was released. In subsequent tries with the Yankees and Orioles, he was unable to win a regular job.