2/14/2013 1:36 P.M. ET
Headley ready to play in Classic if called upon
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- If his country comes calling, Padres third baseman Chase Headley said he will do more than just listen.
Headley, who was not initially offered an invitation to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March, was recently contacted by the Major League Baseball Players Association to gauge his interest in playing if someone dropped out.
"They just reached out -- and I think they do this with a number of guys -- and said if an injury happens or if someone isn't available, if I would be interested in playing," Headley said Thursday. " ... I told them that I absolutely would. It would be a huge honor."
Headley, who won his first National League Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards this winter, said that he'll go about his business preparing for Opening Day, and if he gets a call asking him to play in the Classic, then he'll go.
"Chances are I'll be here the entire spring, but if something comes up, I'll be ready to go," Headley said. "But they have a pretty good player over there [at third base]."
Headley was, of course, referring to Team USA third baseman David Wright of the Mets, who figures to be the primary third baseman when games start in Arizona on March 8. Willie Bloomquist is the only other player on the Team USA roster with experience at third base.
Shoulder issues in past, Darnell eager to get started
PEORIA, Ariz. -- At this point of his career, James Darnell would give just about anything to go through a season healthy -- from start to finish.
That's certainly the hope this season, as the 26-year-old third baseman/outfielder showed up at camp on Thursday ready to move on after having another season end with shoulder surgery.
"Everything is good to go," Darnell said.
Darnell hit .295 in Spring Training a year ago but was optioned to Triple-A Tucson. He joined the team in May after hitting .267 with seven home runs. But six days later, Darnell suffered a left shoulder subluxation while attempting to make a diving catch in left field.
After months of trying to rehabilitate the shoulder, the team opted to have Darnell undergo surgery in August. The operation was his second on the same shoulder. The first occurred in September 2011 after he dislocated it making a diving stop at third base earlier in the month.
Darnell said Thursday his shoulder feels stronger than ever.
"They did a great job. They tightened it to the point where it can't move around, in the front and back," Darnell said. "Both of [the injuries] were the result of playing hard, and that just happens. ... But you just keep going. It's behind me now. It feels really strong. All the muscles are strong."
Darnell, who owns a .299/.398/.508 line in parts of five Minor League seasons, faces a tall order in trying to make the 25-man Opening Day roster -- especially now that the Padres have asked infielder Logan Forsythe to take fly balls in the outfield, as well as ground balls at second base, shortstop and third base.
Venable, Denorfia to resume shared duties in right
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres fans can again expect a platoon in right field with Will Venable and Chris Denorfia, who gave the club good production last season.
The Padres actually had the Majors' eighth-highest OPS (.802) for right fielders in 2012.
"We like it," manager Bud Black said. "We feel good about it in a lot of ways. ... There's some pop, some average, good defense. We expect production, and they expect production."
Denorfia, a right-handed hitter, had a .337/.390/.500 line with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 178 at-bats against left-handed pitching a year ago.
Venable, a left-handed hitter, posted a .270/.339/.400 line in 352 at-bats against right-handed pitching. He had eight of his nine home runs against righties.
Denorfia appeared in 79 games in right field last season but played 53 games in left field, most of those coming before Carlos Quentin came off the disabled list in late May, and again late in the season.
• For the sake of clarification, Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal -- who will miss the first 50 games because of a suspension for testosterone use -- can play in Cactus League games this spring. There was some confusion as to whether the team would be able to use him in Spring Training games. Grandal is expected to address the media for the first time since his suspension on Saturday.
• The Padres will have two games broadcast live this spring by MLB Network -- March 11 when they face the A's, and again on March 13 against the Angels. Both games will start at 1 p.m. PT. The team will be shown on the Network several more times, though on a tape-delayed basis.