The San Diego Padres will be greeted by a welcome sight on Thursday, as third baseman Chase Headley will play his first Spring Training game.
Dealing with a calf issue since the beginning of camp, Headley will take important steps forward as he tries to be ready to go for Opening Day. From Corey Brock of MLB.com:
#Padres 3B Chase Headley (strained right calf, 2/22) will get at-bats in a Minor League game Wednesday. Will play in regular game Thursday.
— Corey Brock (@FollowThePadres) March 18, 2014
Since last month Headley has indicated that he would like to be back for Opening Day. This timetable gives him a little less than two weeks to get ready for regular season action.
This is an important year for Headley and the Padres as he will be a free agent at season’s end. Extension talks haven’t gotten too far so the team will probably have to decide on a course of action soon. Any plans might be hindered by bad health, though, so it is best for all parties that Headley be at full strength for the season.
That’s not to mention the fact that the Padres are, in fact, 0-0 like everybody else and need their best player to try and fulfill the promises of spring.