The San Diego Padres, sticking to their policy of no second chance for players with drug problems, asked waivers on pitcher LaMarr Hoyt for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

The career of the 1983 Cy Young Award winner was revived Tuesday when an arbitrator ruled that the Padres had acted without just cause in dropping Hoyt last January. The pitcher has been plagued by substance abuse problems.

Arbitrator George Nicolau also held that the team was liable for the three years left on a Hoyt's $1 million-a-year contract.

"We may be forced to pay him, but we will not be forced to play him," Padres owner Joan Kroc said on hearing of the ruling.

Nicolau also reduced Commissioner Peter Ueberroth's year-long suspension of Hoyt to 60 days, with the condition that the pitcher fulfill rehabilitation conditions established by Ueberroth. As as result, the pitcher will have to undergo drug testing for the rest of his career.

Hoyt's Baltimore business agent, attorney Ron Shapiro, said he is optimistic Hoyt will find work. "As an armchair general manager, I think pitching this year is in such a short supply that he'll rate a hard look by other general managers," Shapiro said . . .

Jim Eisenreich, who left the major leagues three years ago because of a nervous disorder, returned yesterday in a Kansas City Royals uniform.

Eisenreich, 28, was called up from the Royals' Class AA farm team in Memphis, where he led the Southern League in batting average, doubles, triples and runs scored. He replaces 15-year veteran Jorge Orta.

In 1982, Eisenreich was a promising rookie with the Minnesota Twins, hitting .310 in his first 29 games. He left the Twins in 1984 after being benched for uncontrollable shaking.

The Twins deemed his condition stage fright, but it was later diagnosed as Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by facial tics and twitches of the arms and shoulders. It can be treated with medication.