Chase Headley suffers calf strain

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Bad news for the Padres this afternoon, as Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that third baseman Chase Headley has suffered a right calf strain. Headley is using crutches as a precaution and believes that the injury will cost him a couple of weeks, but Jeff Sanders of UT-San Diego writes that more should be known following an MRI, which will likely take place on Monday.

This is the second straight year that Headley has suffered an injury during spring training, as he fractured the tip of his left thumb last March and didn’t make his season debut until April 17. The 29-year-old ended up hitting .250/.347/.400 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI over 141 games and required arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in October. He’s hoping to bounce back in his walk year, but his health isn’t doing him any favors.

The Padres traded Logan Forsythe to the Rays last month, so if Headley needs to miss the start of the season, they could go with Jedd Gyorko at third base and Alexi Amarista at second base.

Mookie Betts could play second base in the World Series

Mookie Betts
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The Red Sox have some tough decisions to make in advance of the World Series next week; namely, what to do with some of their hottest-hitting players once the series shifts to a National League park — and National League rules. During a press conference on Saturday, manager Alex Cora said he’d be open to the idea of starting All-Star right fielder Mookie Betts at second base when the club’s regular DH, J.D. Martinez, is forced to play the outfield during away games.

The Red Sox carry home field advantage through the Fall Classic, so Games 1 and 2 will be played at Fenway Park — as well as Games 6 and 7, should those become necessary. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 7 later tonight, World Series Games 3 through 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium or Miller Park. That’s when Betts might take over the keystone from Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt, both of whom have shared second base duties over the course of the 2018 postseason.

The idea isn’t without merit. Betts and Martinez comprise two of the team’s top talents at the plate and, should the Red Sox need to stave off elimination in Games 4 and 5, sitting either of them doesn’t make sense. The 26-year-old Betts led the team with a staggering .346/.438/.640 batting line, 32 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and career-best 10.4 fWAR over 614 PA, while Martinez posted some career totals of his own, slashing .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs, a 1.031 OPS, and 5.9 fWAR in 649 PA. This wouldn’t be the first time Betts has taken reps at second, either, as he’s logged 15 games at the position over the course of his five-year career, most recently during a 4-1 win over the Yankees in August.

Whether or not Betts is considered a lock for all three games is another question, one to which Cora didn’t give a definite answer. “I don’t know, man,” the skipper told reporters Saturday. “[Betts] already played second during the regular season, so there’s always a chance, I guess.” He later added that while Betts would be taking ground balls at second, it’s part of the routine he’s maintained all year — so nothing should be read into it until a clear decision has been announced.