If the Padres refuse to give the fourth most productive hitter regular playing time, Headley at least deserves the shot, considering he has the highest ceiling of our trio of left fielders. And while Edgar Gonzalez is certainly carrying his weight at the dish, I feel a more comfortable with Headley available to backup at third.
To avoid becoming a super two player, compounded by a slow start in Portland, Headley’s early season callup was delayed. After the super two deadline has passed (it somehow changes every year), and the team’s chances of making the playoffs in 2008 slipped away, his promotion seemed imminent. His play would at least provide some entertainment value while the team prepares to contend in 2009.
What’s interesting is similar thinking could argue against an early callup. Since the team is out of contention anyway, why hurry his development and risk messing with his mind? Kevin Towers, apparently, follows this line of analysis.
“I think the environment is much better than it was three weeks ago,” Towers said. “We have got a lot of guys contributing offensively. When he gets here, he shouldn’t have to feel like he’s got to carry this ballclub. We’re playing good baseball now.
In any event, Headley seems poised to create some excitement for Padre fans, even if the team doesn’t catch the Diamondbacks. He is expected as available Sunday at the earliest. Otherwise he will play in Monday’s exhibition game in Cooperstown, then Tuesday in New York against the Yankees.
photo credit: ISU_79