Now go tear up AAA Chase, and we'll see you very soooooooooon !!!
Converted outfielder's departure likely makes Gerut a starter
Corey Brock from MLB.com reports
PEORIA, Ariz. -- In deciding to option their top Minor League prospect, Chase Headley, to Triple-A Portland, the Padres haven't given up hope that the former third baseman can make the conversion to left field.
They just want to give the 23-year-old a little more seasoning in the outfield, and that's why the Padres on Sunday sent Headley to Portland, even though his hot bat this spring made it increasingly tempting to put him on the 25-man Opening Day roster.
Headley hit .349 in 43 at-bats with three doubles and a triple, and he led the team in home runs (four) and RBIs (14) in 23 games. Headley had a single in his only at-bat in Sunday's 7-3 loss to the Cubs at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Headley, the Texas League Player of the Year in 2007, proved to be a quick study in left field this spring. He was tested on a wide-range of fly balls, line drives and base hits. He even threw a runner out at the plate in a game on Friday against the Brewers.
The Padres first floated the idea of having Headley make the move to the outfield during the winter, and he embraced it, knowing that third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, coming off a strong first season in San Diego, likely wasn't going anywhere.
Headley worked on fly balls at home in Tennessee and at PETCO Park in January, where the Padres' front-office staff watched him work out in the outfield for the first time.
With Headley going to Portland and Jim Edmonds likely headed to the disabled list with a strained right calf, it appears that non-roster invitee Jody Gerut will start Opening Day in left field against Houston on March 31, with Scott Hairston starting in center field.
Gerut has impressed the staff all spring, and is hitting .279 with three home runs and six RBIs.
Well this was really option #2 for our plans anyway, as Jody Gerut does play outstanding defense, and has proven he can hit for a full season during his rookie year for the Indians. Granted that was a few years and knee surgeries ago, but he's had a good spring on both sides of the ball, so lets hope this works out FAR better than the Termell Sledge or Jose Cruz Jr. nightmares.