Injury Bug Hits Padres' Hot Corner

Three third baseman sideline by injuries in 2011





SAN DIEGO—Chase Headley was playing the best baseball of four major league seasons, drawing praise for his defense and on-base percentage. But a broken finger on his left hand effectively ended his season on Aug. 8.

That opened the door for Logan Forsythe, the second-round pick out of Arkansas in 2008. Forsythe made a very favorable impression in his first major league season. Then a knee injury knocked him out in late August.

Enter James Darnell, a second-round pick out of South Carolina in 2008. After a slow start, he began settling in until he injured his left shoulder diving for a ball in mid-September. That ended his season.

So the hot corner fell to Andy Parrino, a 26th-round selection in 2007 out of LeMoyne. The 25-year-old was rewarded for his best minor league season, as he batted .315/.393/.511 for Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson.

"The way things have gone at third, I don't know if I'd want to play there," said Padres manager Bud Black. "The good thing is that Chase's injury gave us a chance to look at Forsythe, and he made a very positive impression. And Logan's injury gave us an opportunity to get a good look at Darnell. Now Parrino will get an extended look."

The Padres want to find spots for Headley, Forsythe and Darnell in the lineup with Parrino, who started at second base, third base and right field in his brief major league career. A switch-hitter, his versatility should help him carve out a career as a utilityman.

FATHER FIGURES

• Double-A San Antonio won the Texas League championship. Pitchers Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, key figures in San Antonio's run to the Texas League title and all acquired via trades, joined the Padres for the last two weeks of the season but did not pitch in games.

• High Class A Lake Elsinore defeated Stockton to win the California League championship. The Storm, managed by ex-big league slugger Phil Plantier, made the playoffs as a wild-card team.