Due to the World Baseball Classic this year, all teams knew coming into this spring that the exhibition schedule would be longer and more tedious than ever. The Padres were scheduled to play a franchise-record 38 spring training games in 2013. Although some teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers were scheduled to play more games this preseason (40), that doesn’t necessarily mean that their spring training was longer than San Diego’s.
An injury riddled spring saw the Padres lose at least three players that they were hoping to count on from day one and depending upon outfielder Carlos Quentin’s status for Monday’s opener, the final tally could reach as high as four.
The Padres finalized their final 25-man opening day roster Friday. However, the final question mark remaining for San Diego is will Quentin be available to play the outfield from opening day and if so, what percentage will he be playing at? Quentin has battled pain in his surgically repaired right knee all spring training. Padres manager Bud Black has been positive regarding Quentin’s status all spring long and has been optimistic about Quentin’s availability for opening day against the New York Mets. However, many are starting to wonder if Quentin playing left field will compromise the Padres defense once the season begins.
Pitcher Casey Kelly who was acquired along with three others from the Boston Red Sox in December of 2010 for Adrian Gonzalez has been lost for the season. Kelly is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow April 2. If all goes as planned, Kelly will hope to rejoin the Padres in 2014. Kelly, who battled elbow problems in April of last year as well, which caused him to miss nearly four months, is hoping this surgery on his UCL will allow him to salvage a very young and still promising career.
Utility man Logan Forsythe battled plantar fasciitis this spring and despite all the optimism he would be available for opening day, the Padres placed him on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week. When Forsythe returns he will be counted on to play as many as three infield positions.
The last but not least of the injury roundup for San Diego would be third baseman Chase Headley. Headley, the Padres best player, was lost for at least a month on Mar. 17 against the Los Angeles Angels with a fracture in his left thumb sliding into second base attempting to break up a double play. San Diego, without Forsythe and Headley will put the onus on their young infielders to keep the team competitive until those two can return.
The Padres will be glad to see the calendar flip to April in only a few days and hope for better luck once the regular season finally begins.