The Padres will be without third baseman Chase Headley and outfielder Carlos Quentin for Friday night’s contest against the Dodgers. Jordan Littman of U-T San Diego reports that Headley is having his back examined (he received an epidural), and Quentin is suffering soreness in his left knee. Alexi Amarista gets the start at third base and will bat seventh, and Seth Smith is starting in left field, batting third.
Headley, 30, was on the disabled list between late April and mid-May with a strained left calf. He suffered from back soreness in each of the last two seasons. A free agent after the season, Headley is having a forgettable season, slashing .200/.283/.333 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 219 plate appearances.
Quentin, 31, first experienced soreness in his left knee late in spring training and began the season on the disabled list. He did not make his season debut until May 13. Quentin had surgery to remove loose bodies in his right knee last July. He, too, is having a poor year offensively, slashing .192/.302/.342 with three home runs and eight RBI in 86 plate appearances.
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.