6/9/2013 9:03 P.M. ET
Headley, scuffling at plate, takes a breather Sunday
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
DENVER -- Third baseman Chase Headley, who is hitting .167 with a .532 OPS in his last 28 games, didn't start on Sunday in the series finale against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Headley had started all 48 games he's played in since being reinstated from the disabled list on April 17 after fracturing his left thumb exactly a month earlier in a Spring Training game.
"In Chase's case, he's been going at it as hard as anyone in the league since coming back from the DL," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Headley is 5-for-26 on this road trip and 3-for-14 in the first three games of the series against the Rockies. Black said Sunday was the right day to sit him, though he was available to pinch-hit. Utility man Alexi Amarista got his first start of the season at third base.
"It does him justice to get a start off," Black said.
Headley, who led the National League in RBIs (115) last season and won the Silver Slugger Award, is now hitting .230 with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
Last week, Headley talked about his struggles.
"It's a combination of things. First and foremost, I've got to swing at better pitches," he said. "I'm getting myself out. I'm making [the opposing pitcher] throw one quality strike. And there has been a little bad luck mixed in there, too."
Gyorko injures groin on basepaths in 10th inning
DENVER -- As if losing a late lead Sunday wasn't bad enough, the Padres could potentially be without the services of one of their hottest hitters, rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko.
Gyorko suffered an undisclosed right groin injury running between first and second base in the 10th inning of the Padres' 8-7 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.
"It's a little concerning," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We don't know if it's a cramp, strain or a pull. We'll know more when this thing sets up in 24 hours."
Gyorko went 1-for-5 in the 10-inning loss to the Rockies, a game that saw the Padres lose a three-run lead in the ninth inning before Dexter Fowler's single won it in the 10th.
Gyorko is hitting .284 this season and leads all Major League rookies with 66 hits. He also leads the team in home runs (eight) and RBIs (25) in 60 games.
"Hopefully, it's just a cramp," he said. "It happened on the last step before I slid. When I got inside the dugout, it spasmed pretty bad."
If Gyorko misses any time -- the Padres open a series on Monday at Petco Park against the Braves -- the team could use utility man Alexi Amarista at second base, but they'd likely need to add another infielder to take Gyorko's spot on the active roster.
Hundley, Richard get trapped in an office before game
DENVER -- Before each game, Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley and the starting pitcher and catcher huddle to go over scouting reports.
But something funny happened before Sunday's series finale against the Rockies, when Balsley, starter Clayton Richard, and catcher Nick Hundley tried to emerge from the office of visiting clubhouse manager Alan Bossart -- the door wouldn't open.
For about 10 minutes, Bossart and Coors Field clubhouse workers tried different keys and other means to open the door. Nothing worked. Soon enough, Padres players, coaches and staff gathered around, laughing.
Outfielder Chris Denorfia placed speakers next to the door and played "Break on Through" by The Doors.
"[Balsley] is going through the vent," Hundley joked.
Finally, someone inside the room pulled the door from its hinges, and Bossart kicked in the door to his own office to free the players with plenty of time to spare before the game.
"That was fun," said Padres manager Bud Black.
All three emerged in good spirits, though Hundley's expression was more a look of relief as he headed to his locker to get ready for the game.
"It was like a sauna," he said.
Blair's son drafted by Friars, likely going to school
DENVER -- Bullpen coach Willie Blair was busy finishing up batting practice before Saturday's game against the Rockies, so he missed a text message from the Padres telling him that the organization was about to select his son, Taylor, with its 35th-round Draft pick.
However, Blair didn't miss the text message from his son after the pick became a reality.
"His first text back to me was one word. ... 'Wow,'" Blair said. "He was very excited."
Taylor Blair is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, and he played at Lexington Christian Academy in Kentucky. He has signed with Eastern Kentucky University and is likely headed there.
"I would assume he will," Blair said. "Personally, I don't feel like he's quite ready yet. He's a big kid, but needs to gain some weight and get stronger. I actually think he's a better offensive player."
Blair said his son will get the chance to play the outfield and pitch at Eastern Kentucky, which happens to be the rival of the elder Blair's alma matter -- Morehead State University, also in Kentucky. Blair was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 1986 Draft and went on to win 60 games for eight teams in 12 Major League seasons.
This is Blair's first season as bullpen coach for the Padres. He was asked Sunday if it would have been nice to be involved in the same organization as his son.
"It would have been fun. But he's not quite ready yet," he said.
Chad MacDonald, the Padres' vice president and assistant general manger of player personnel, said the selection of Taylor Blair had nothing to do with nepotism.
"It wasn't because of the last name. His son has a lot of talent. Whether he decides to sign professionally or go on to college, we liked the talent, we liked the human being," MacDonald said. "He's a tremendous worker with great makeup. Obviously some good bloodlines, but regardless of what his last name was, we liked the player."
• Closer Huston Street, on the disabled list retroactive to May 30 with a left calf strain, is on this road trip to continue his rehabilitation. On Monday, he'll throw from the mound to hitters for the first time since he landed on the DL. Then on Wednesday, he will field his position to test the calf. Street is eligible to be activated on Friday.