02/21/2013 3:20 PM ET
Headley's spring focus is reps, not results
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- A year ago, before Chase Headley officially embarked on a career-year at the plate and one of the best offensive seasons in club history, he hit a dismal .224 in Spring Training.
But Headley, the Padres' switch-hitting third baseman, wasn't so much disappointed with the average, as that's not a focus in exhibition games.
What is important for Headley is getting enough at-bats from each side of the plate before the Padres break camp in late March.
"We're going to start slow because we've got so many games," Headley said. "We don't worry about it early on. As we get closer to opening the season, I might go to [manager Bud Black] and say if there's an opportunity to, say, get more right-handed at-bats, we'll do that.
"It can be a little challenging to get enough at-bats from both sides."
Last spring, Headley got 27 bats as a left-handed hitter and 22 from the right side. He could receive more than those 49 at-bats since the team is playing a club-record 38 exhibition games. The Padres will likely use Logan Forsythe and possibly Jedd Gyorko at third base as well in games.
The key, Headley said, is feeling good from both sides of the plate by the time the team leaves Arizona.
"There have been some springs where you feel better about it or not as good," he said. "We'll keep an eye on it."
Roberts lends famous feet for Red Sox exhibit
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Sculptor Douglas Borkman of the Rhode Island School of Design was wandering the back fields of the Padres' Spring Training facility a week ago, though he wasn't trying to work on his tan while on vacation.
Instead, Borkman was working on some feet.
Borkman was in town to collect the footprints of Padres first-base coach Dave Roberts for an exhibit that will be on display this season at Fenway Park in Boston.
Roberts -- he of the celebrated stolen base during the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees -- willingly obliged, dropping his feet into a body casting mix called Alja-Safe.
Borkman has been collecting handprints and footprints of several notable Red Sox, including Jerry Remy, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, Jason Varitek and Carl Yastrzemski, among others. They will be displayed starting on Opening Day for a brick area near Gates B and C at Fenway Park.
Wally the Green Monster, the team's official mascot, will get a brick as well.
"I was excited. To be paired with a lot of the Red Sox greats … it's great," Roberts said. "To get my feet cast and molded and having a place at Fenway Park is pretty special to me."
Roberts' feet were set in a paver that measured 19 inches by 19 inches.
Tim Wakefield did a knuckleball grip, while Roberts gladly offered a mold of his feet, the ones that were responsible for stealing the most important base in Red Sox history, one propelling them out of an 0-3 hole in the ALCS and to the World Series, where they swept the Cardinals for their first title since 1918.
Roberts said he plans to visit the display when the Padres travel to Boston for a three-game series that starts on July 2.
• Forsythe (sore right knee) ran in the outfield during morning drills on Thursday. Black said the infielder is close to returning to full drills, as is center fielder Cameron Maybin (sore right wrist).
• Black said pitcher Tim Stauffer, in camp on a Minor League deal, is progressing well. Stauffer, who is six months removed from flexor tendon surgery on his right elbow, is following a program that allows him more rest between bullpen sessions. "We're bringing him along slowly," Black said.
• With Friday being the first of 38 exhibition games this spring, Black said you might not see as many regular position players much throughout the first week. And with the start of games comes the chance to evaluate players in a competitive setting.
In terms of evaluating pitchers, Black, pitching coach Darren Balsley and the rest of the staff will look for how the ball comes out of a pitcher's hand, his delivery and what kind of swings the opposing hitter takes. "Competition is the best gauge," Black said.