The already offensively challenged San Diego Padres ball club just took a massive blow.
A team that ranked 24th in batting a season ago will be without one of their best hitters to start the season. Third baseman Chase Headley will be sidelined for around one month with a small fracture in his thumb. The injury occurred when Headley was sliding into second base during Sunday’s Spring Training contest, but luckily surgery does not seem to be necessary. Headley is coming off of a monster 2012 campaign, in which he slugged 31 home runs and a league-leading 115 RBI, numbers that earned him fifth place in the NL MVP voting.
Of course, this happens just after I constantly declare my love for Headley in fantasy leagues. Again, coming off of a season where he hit a career high 31 home runs, it appears that Headley’s power is legitimate. Now, Petco Park is moving their fences in more, complementing Headley’s newfound power. For fantasy owners who have already drafted and Headley is on their roster, I suggest looking to pick up Jedd Gyorko, seeing as he is the likely replacement for Headley at third base, though he could also end up playing second base. In 17 games this spring, Gyorko is batting a solid .289 with three home runs.
Once Headley returns to the lineup, I still believe he can (and will) put up solid numbers. Of course, thumb injuries can be a bit tricky, especially in baseball. The power is there and he gets on base (3.76 OBP in 2012). Despite being a third baseman, Headley can also steal his fair share of bases, stealing 17 last season. Keep him on your roster and prepare to plug him in immediately once he returns to action.
Here are some guys I still wouldn’t take over Headley: Ryan Zimmerman, Aramis Ramirez, Brett Lawrie.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.