All things considered, the last thing that the San Diego Padres had to worry about going into Opening Day in 2013 was probably the hot corner.
The team does have breakout star Chase Headley there, and as long as he’s with the team (which might not be for that long, to be honest), the job is his to take. After that? There’s Logan Forsythe, the team’s home-groomed utility man, who would be set to provide backup to top prospect Jedd Gyorko at second base — and anywhere else the team needed, really.
But now? Well, the team’s just lucky to have someone to put there at all, really.
Injuries will put teams onto plan Bs very quickly (as I’m sure the New York Yankees will attest to), and with Headley being out with a broken thumb and now Forsythe likely starting the season on the DL with plantar fasciitis in his right foot (as Corey Brock of MLB.com reports), the Padres are essentially down to plan C.
The problem is that, well … they just don’t really have one.
Okay, so that’s not entirely true — obviously, San Diego has the personnel resources to put a warm body at third base if need arises. In this case, the lucky winner is one Cody Ransom, an former top-10 organizational prospect with the San Francisco Giants … from over a decade ago.
Ransom is 37-years old now, and has been a journeyman backup through his 10-year career that’s nearing its conclusion.
Oddly enough, Ransom earned more playing time than ever in 2012, putting together a 1.3 fWAR, .722 OPS season over .282 PA between two teams. Still, you never really want to bet on any bat at Petco, even if said bat does have a bit of pop in it (21 homers, .175 slugging over 665 PA in career).
In short — this is someone who struck out over 40 percent of the time and batting below the Mendoza line in 2012 with the Milwaukee Brewers — Chase Headley he certainly ain’t, and those numbers won’t look pretty in San Diego.
Fortunately (if you could say that), unlikely teams like the Yankees, the lack of real options isn’t exactly a problem with the Padres, not as long as there’s no real chance that they’ll be contending this season.
It’s the benefits of being a basement-dweller, I suppose, even though Opening Day for the Padres is going to paint a rather bleak picture of what the team might look like if Headley were to be moved at some point in the next couple of years.