Padres third baseman Chase Headley, coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, will miss the first month of the season after fracturing the tip of his left thumb on Sunday.
Headley, who won National League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards in 2012, sustained what the Padres' medical staff initially termed a jammed thumb trying to break up a double play Sunday against the Angels in Tempe.
After an X-ray on Sunday, Headley visited a hand specialist in San Diego on Monday.
"You hate to see it happen," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's unfortunate for Chase and the Padres."
The Padres open the regular season on April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field.
After a first-inning single, Headley jammed his thumb against the second-base bag when he slid trying to break up a double play on Sunday. He played defense in the bottom of the inning before leaving the game.
"He went to slide into second base and got stuck and twisted around, and his thumb ended up hitting the bag ... his thumb was in a bad spot," Black said.
Headley led the NL in RBIs (115) in 2012 and had a breakout year at the plate, hitting a career-high 31 home runs. A switch-hitter, Headley produced big numbers both in pitcher-friendly Petco Park and on the road. He also finished fifth in the NL MVP Award voting.
Headley has hit .448 in 29 at-bats this spring while essentially playing every other day. Black has eased his regular position players into the lineup due to the longer Spring Training.
The Padres have two in-house options they could use at third base: Logan Forsythe and Jedd Gyorko.
Fractured left thumb will cost Chase Headley a month
MLB.com | Mar 18