A big boost to the San Diego Padres is coming later today, as starting third baseman Chase Headley is expected to be activated off of the disabled list in time for tonight’s game against the Miami Marlins. Headley, who has been rehabbing at Single-A Lake Elsinore since May 5th, has been dealing with a painful right calf strain.
The Padres and Headley are hoping that once his return happens, his bat begins to heat up with the weather. In 70 at-bats this season, the third bagger is is hitting a paltry .186 while slugging .314 and having an OPS of .564. Headley has hit 2 home runs and driven in 7. He is expected to be a big boost to a Padres’ lineup that has scuffled for most of the season, ranking almost dead last across the board.
The Padres began to show signs of life last night, as infielder Jedd Gyorko hit a pair of home runs–including a grand slam in the Friars victory Friday night. The team had previously lost three in a row. Along with the return of Headley, the team hopes to be getting outfielder Carlos Quentin back from his rehab assignment over the next week or so. Gyorko returned from the birth of his twins, and outfielder Seth Smith came back several days ago from a groin strain.
The team’s pitching has been phenomenal thus far, but the defense is starting to wilt under the pressure from not hitting their hat size or weight, committing almost a half dozen errors over the past couple of game. With the return and expected return of several key components in the lineup, the Padres should be able to get back into contention once they start scoring consistently to take the pressure off of both the defense and the pitching staff. The bullpen is one of the best in game, but has been overused over the past week, and the team has been forced to make a couple of moves to keep the arms fresh.