San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks

The San Diego Padres could be without Chase Headley to begin the season. Headley, who enjoyed a career year in 2012, suffered a jammed thumb attempting to break up a double play in a Spring Training game on Sunday. The 28-year old third baseman was scheduled to fill David Wright’s roster spot on Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but his opportunity to represent his country died when the Americans were eliminated on Friday night.

Padres manager Bud Black told Corey Brock of MLB.com that Headley will undergo “some studies”, X-rays, and “some other scans”. The play looked rather harmless, but Black provided some context to Headley’s injury by noting that Headley “got stuck and twisted around and his thumb ended up hitting the bag … his thumb was in a bad spot”.

Headley, as the casual baseball fan will note, led the National League in RBI last season. He also set career highs in home runs (31), OBP (.376), SLG (.498), wOBA (.378), and BB% (12.3%). Headley posted a 7.5 win season by Fangraphs’ count and 6.2 by Baseball Reference’s calculation method. Chase Headley is very valuable to the Padres and his absence from the lineup for any length of time is going to sting.

Both Logan Forsyth and Jed Gyorko could both find themselves being leaned upon in the event that Headley misses time. Gyorko is the current favourite to land the Padres’ starting second base job, while Forsyth is working his way back from plantar fasciitis.