The Padres resisted the urge to trade Chase Headley at last month’s deadline. Since then, he’s been one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
Headley slugged his 19th home run in Monday’s win over the Braves while also adding an RBI single. He’s well on his way to winning National League Player of the Month honors for August, as he’s batting a robust .348 with seven homers and 21 RBI in just 12 contests.
But, while this is certainly an especially hot streak for Headley, he’s been a threat at the plate all season long. The 28-year-old is sporting a .277/.370/.465 batting line for the year, as he trails only Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Aramis Ramirez and David Freese in OPS among third basemen (and, thus, is ahead of the likes of Adrian Beltre, Ryan Zimmerman and Alex Rodriguez). Headley has already easily set career highs in home runs (19) and RBI (73) and is currently on pace to finish with 26 bombs and 101 RBI.
Keep in mind that Headley is putting up these numbers while playing half his games at Petco Park. He’s certainly a different hitter at home, batting a pedestrian .265/.347/.393 in San Diego, with just five of his 19 longballs coming there. It’s interesting that Headley is showing this power outburst despite posting a career-high 50% groundball rate. Perhaps he’s just coming into his own as a hitter, as he’s also walked more times than ever this season after showing signs last year of that skill blossoming.
Headley will be an interesting one to watch over the offseason, as the Padres are likely to receive plenty of inquiries on him. He’s under team control through 2014, but the team could be willing to ship him elsewhere given that they have Jedd Gyorko ready to assume third base. They’d surely receive quite a bundle for a guy that’s in his prime and under team control for two more years.
Profar Not Far Away?
Mike Olt and Manny Machado were surprisingly called up recently, and it appears that another young stud might be on his way to the big leagues.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported Monday that the Rangers are considering promoting shortstop Jurickson Profar from Double-A Frisco soon. Ranked by Baseball America at midseason as the best position prospect in the minor leagues, Profar blasted his 14th home run of the season Monday and is now batting .285/.363/.470 for Frisco this season to go along with 15 stolen bases. Keep in mind he’s doing this as a 19-year-old.
Bumping Profar from Double-A to the big leagues (just as they did with Olt) would certainly be an aggressive move by the Rangers, especially since he wouldn’t be in line for everyday playing time. But, there are only 20 games left in Frisco’s season, so it’s not as if Profar would miss out on a ton of developmental time. He would provide the team with middle infield depth and another bench player, as they’ve played with only three bench guys the last few games.
It’s unlikely Profar would have much fantasy value if called up this season, but he’s obviously a must-have in keeper formats. If your league requires that a player has to be on the 25-man roster before they can be added for keeper purposes, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the Rangers’ plans in the coming days.
National League Quick Hits: The Nationals are expected to shut down Stephen Strasburg before he makes his final 2-3 starts of the season, and the young right-hander will not participate in the playoffs. John Lannan would be the obvious choice to replace him in the rotation ... Ian Desmond (oblique) went through a full workout Monday and is recovering faster than expected. The Nats are expected to have a better idea of when he can return by Wednesday ... Jeff Samardzija struck out 11 Astros batters while tossing seven innings of one-run ball Monday. He holds a 2.66 ERA while striking out 56 over 47 1/3 innings since the beginning of July ... Dale Thayer closed out the Padres’ win over the Braves Monday and looks like the guy to own for saves in San Diego while Huston Street is on the shelf ... Placido Polanco (back) is expected to return from the disabled list this weekend but will not be the everyday third baseman, as he’ll share time with Kevin Frandsen ... Cole Hamels spun his second straight shutout Monday against the Marlins and now boasts a 2.91 ERA and 1.11 WHIP for the season ... Drew Pomeranz might not be able to make his next start due to left biceps soreness.
American League Quick Hits: Jose Bautista (wrist) took some dry swings and hit off a tee Monday without any issues. He’s now back on track following a setback and should rejoin the Blue Jays’ lineup before the end of the month ... Adam Dunn knocked a pair of solo home runs in Monday’s loss to the Blue Jays, putting him back in the major league home run lead ahead of Josh Hamilton ... Anibal Sanchez was lit up by the Twins Monday, surrendering five runs on 12 hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings. The American League has welcomed Sanchez rudely, as he holds a 7.97 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in four outings for his new team ... Sanchez isn’t the only one struggling with the transition from the NL to the AL, as Ryan Dempster was pummeled for eight runs on nine hits over six frames in a loss to the Yankees Monday. Dempster has allowed 16 runs over his first three starts with the Rangers ... Carlos Villanueva’s move from the bullpen to the rotation has gone swimmingly, as he held the White Sox to one run on just five hits and a walk while striking out eight over seven innings Monday. He boasts a 3.04 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 50/14 K/BB ratio over 47 1/3 innings since joining the starting five ... Ben Zobrist started at shortstop Monday for the fourth time in the last five games and is expected to continue to play there regularly down the stretch. He should gain eligibility at the position in most fantasy leagues shortly ... C.J. Wilson exited his start Monday after trying to knock down a comebacker with his pitching hand, but he’s expected to be fine.