San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley finally put it all together in 2012 and had a monster breakout season. He looked poised to continue that tear in 2013, but the usually durable Tennessee product won’t be ready for Opening Day after fracturing his left thumb on Sunday.
The fracture occurred as Headley tried to break up a double play while sliding in to second base during a spring training matchup with the
California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels. The injury was initially termed a “jammed” thumb, but subsequent tests have apparently discovered a fracture in the tip of his finger.
The injury will put Headley out about 30 days, but because it is at the tip of his thumb, surgery does not appear necessary.
Headley won National League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards in 2012, and led the National League with 115 RBI. He also set career highs in home runs (31), hits (173), runs (95), OPS (.874), WAR (6.0) and tied a career-high with 31 doubles.
For a Padres team that has struggled to score runs in the past, losing Headley for any amount of time is a huge blow. San Diego was hoping to build off a strong second half to the 2012 season and look to compete in a stacked National League West in 2013. If Headley’s injury lingers beyond the initial 30-day projection, the Friars could be in serious trouble.
In Headley’s absence, rookie Jedd Gyorko, and utility guys Logan Forsythe and Jesus Guzman are likely to share duties at third base. All three guys can play multiple positions on the infield, and were likely to see a lot of playing time anyway.