Chase Headley batted .250 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs in 2013. His numbers were a far cry from the career year he posted in 2012, which included 31 home runs and a league-leading 115 RBIs. The severe drop off in production from a year ago may be attributed to nagging injuries. Headley sustained a thumb injury during spring training causing him to miss the first couple weeks of the season. Also, Headley underwent surgery on his injured left knee once the season ended. After a lackluster year in 2013, what will Headley and the Padres do in 2014?
Headley has the ability to put up big numbers, but in five full seasons with the Padres, he has never come close to equaling his performance in 2012. The upcoming arbitration talks need to be realistic about how much the injuries caused Headley’s production to nose-dive in 2013. It is not easy to live up to MVP type numbers, and the possibility of receiving a lucrative contract may have caused him to place too much pressure on himself. Whatever the reason, the Padres should not expect Headley to be a 30 HR and 100 RBI player in 2014, and the deal they offer him should reflect realistic projections of the upcoming season.
A bright spot of Headley’s 2013 season was his great play in September while nursing a knee injury. Instead of sitting out to get healthy for next season, Headley hit 5 home runs with 14 RBIs while batting .305. Headley’s bat helped the Padres achieve a 16-11 record in September, and provided some optimism heading into the offseason. If Headley can get healthy by spring training and properly prepare for the season, we should expect him to be a key contributor in 2014 for the Friars.
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