LOS ANGELES --The Padres set aside a locker for Chase Headley in the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium on Monday, and the injured third baseman could join the club for the final two games of a three-game series against the Dodgers.
Headley continued his Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore on Monday night and went 1-for-3, playing seven innings at third base. Padres manager Bud Black said it's possible that Headley could join the club in Los Angeles on Tuesday or Wednesday, barring a setback in the rehab of his fractured left thumb.
"He's close [to returning]," Black said before Monday's 6-3 win over the Dodgers. "We don't know when. He's got to feel comfortable where he is."
Headley injured his thumb on March 17 during a Spring Training game against the Angels. He began his rehab assignment on Friday, and went 1-for-3 with a double as the designated hitter for Lake Elsinore. He started at third on Sunday, played seven innings and went 0-for-3.
The Padres have certainly missed Headley's presence in the lineup through the first two weeks of the season -- he had 31 home runs and 115 RBIs in 2012. But San Diego has also missed his defense at third base.
Jedd Gyorko and Jesus Guzman combined for three errors at third base against the Rockies over the weekend. Both Gyorko and Guzman are inexperienced at the hot corner and are playing there with Headley sidelined.
"We've got to hold the fort a little bit until we get our roster back in order, especially on the position-player side," Black said.
Black focused on baseball, not retaliation concerns
LOS ANGELES -- The Padres insist there won't be any carryover on Monday night from Thursday's benches-clearing brawl with the Dodgers as the National League West rivals begin a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. It's the first time the clubs have met since the fracas.
Padres manager Bud Black spoke over the phone with Joe Torre, vice president of baseball operations for MLB, before Monday's game. Torre's message was simple: Keep things in perspective on Jackie Robinson Day. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had a similar conversation with Torre on Monday.
Black said he's spoken to the club at least twice about last week's events, which resulted in an eight-game suspension for outfielder Carlos Quentin and a broken left collarbone for Dodgers starter Zack Greinke. Greinke was injured when Quentin charged the mound after being hit by the right-hander in the sixth inning of a 3-2 loss.
"What happened, happened, and in a lot of these cases it ends," Black said before Monday's game. "But to Joe's point, I think you just want to let both teams know this is baseball and this is still what this is all about."
Quentin began serving his suspension on Sunday after he dropped his appeal. Quentin did not travel with the club to Los Angeles. He is eligible to return for the April 23 home game against the Brewers.
Padres honored for up-close look at Jackie's Day
LOS ANGELES -- With Major League teams celebrating Jackie Robinson Day across the country, the Padres were glad to be a part of the festivities in Robinson's hometown and against the organization he broke the color barrier with in 1947.
"To be playing against his organization in this city is special for us," Padres manager Bud Black said before Monday's game against the Dodgers.
Every member of the Padres wore Robinson's No. 42 in honor of the baseball pioneer. In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.
Monday was the 66th anniversary of Robinson's first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His wife, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were honored before the game at Dodger Stadium.
"This is a special day for baseball, and I think for our society and for America and internationally," Black said. "With what Jackie meant to the game and all the people instrumental in breaking the color barrier, it's fantastic that baseball honors Jackie and honors his family with this type of day and throughout the game."
The San Diego clubhouse is rather diverse, with players representing five different countries across two continents, and Robinson's role in integrating the Major Leagues is not lost on the Padres.
"Jackie went through a lot and gave up a lot for us to be here," said outfielder Will Venable.
Prospects Ross, Smith win Minor League honors
LOS ANGELES -- Padres pitching prospects Joe Ross and Burch Smith are off to strong starts in the Minor Leagues this year.
Ross, 19, was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after going 2-0 in his first two starts for Class A Fort Wayne. Ross, the Padres' No. 13 prospect according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, threw 10 scoreless innings and allowed only two hits with 12 strikeouts over his two outings.
Ross was selected 25th overall by the Padres in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Smith, 23, was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after the right-hander threw 11 scoreless innings over two starts with Double-A San Antonio. Smith, the organization's No. 20 prospect, won his season debut on April 6 and allowed three hits with five strikeouts in six innings. He struck out eight over five innings on Friday.
The Padres drafted Smith in the 14th round in 2011.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.