Well, that didn’t take long. When the San Diego Padres open their 2014 season today against the Los Angeles Dodgers, they will do so without the services of left-fielder Carlos Quentin. Matter of fact, the Padres will be without Quentin for at least two weeks, as Quentin will open the 2014 season on the 15-day disabled list — due to a bruised left knee.
The good news is that this current knee injury doesn’t involve the same chronic knee that Quentin had season-ending surgery on in 2013. As for some bad news, Quentin now has two bad knees and yet another injury to add to the list of ailments that have kept him off of the playing field during his career.
Injured while diving for a ball in the outfield, Quentin’s injury now makes it two-thirds of Padres starting outfield lost due to attempted diving catches in the outfield during the spring, as Cameron Maybin was injured in the same manner earlier in Spring Training.
Somebody might want to put a “no diving in the outfield during Spring Training” clause in the Padres’ contracts from now on because a team this dependent on health for success can ill-afford to lose players in meaningless Cactus League games.
I can fully understand a prospect trying to earn a roster spot going all out to make a play, but established veterans, especially injury-prone established veterans who missed a combined 228 games in 2013, need to let that Spring Training ball get passed them and live to play the next day, so to speak.
Quentin has missed the Padres’ last 54-consecutive regular-season games dating back to last season and unfortunately for the Padres, that streak will continue as we begin the 2014 campaign.
On the bright side, however, the bone bruise in his left knee is an injury that Quentin can fully recover from with simple rest, and that rest should also allow his chronically troublesome right knee to heal even further — possibly giving him a better chance to make it through the season without further complications once he returns.
That may be wishful thinking on my part, but as the ever popular Padres slogan says, “you gotta keep the faith.”