The San Diego Padres were hoping for a big season out of third baseman Chase Headley after his monstrous performance in 2012. Unfortunately, the organization got the complete opposite of what they expected. Obviously, Headley’s knee problem had something to do with his performance in 2013. However, will he be able to get back on track next season?
The fact that the 29-year-old played with a torn meniscus in his left knee for a majority of the year is commendable. Most players would have opted for surgery right away, but Headley decided it was best to continue to play and help the Padres win.
“It was really up to me,” Headley said, according to Padres.com. “They said there was no risk to damage it long term or making it worse. It’s just something you deal with as a guy who plays every day. Did it have some effect? Probably. There were a lot of things that contributed to the season I had.”
There is no question the issue with his knee had some effect on his ability to play at a high level. With that being said, one has to wonder how much it affected him.
Headley dropped back down to his average statistics after he blew people away with his performance in 2012. That season, he posted career highs in home runs (31), RBI (115), hits (175) and walks (86). He also posted the second-highest batting average (.286) of his career. His 13 home runs, 50 RBI and .250 batting average that he posted in 2013 would seem standard if it was not for his jaw-dropping numbers last year.
One thing Headley can take away from this season is the fact that he hit a career-high 35 doubles. In baseball, it is important for players to find something to build on from year-to-year.
The question on everyone’s mind heading into the offseason is whether Headley will be able to carry the team offensively once again. Obviously, that will be asking a lot from him considering he will be spending the next few months rehabbing his knee. The one thing the team will have going for them is that he will be a free agent in 2015, assuming the Padres do not sign him to a long-term extension this offseason.
I believe Headley will be a productive member of the offense in 2014, but do not expect him to belt over 30 home runs or 100 RBI. Simply put, that will never happen again.