The start of the 2012 season was awful for the Padres. I'm not just talking about the awful month of April (7-17) or only marginally better month of May (10-18).
We're talking about the avalanche of injuries the Padres experienced in the first two months.
By May 18, they had already lost nine players for the season. By then they'd also had to put Carlos Quentin, Huston Street and Mark Kotsay on the disabled list. Those players would return, but all go back on the DL later in the season.
Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland needed Tommy John surgery. Luebke might be ready to return to the Big Leagues after the All-Star break. Wieland is likely to miss the entire season.
It did not get better from there. According to the statistical website www.Fangraphs.com, the Padres lost more days to injury (1,883) than any other big league club.
It was one of those head-scratching developments that had people wondering what the Padres did to deserve such bad luck.
Whatever it is, the bad luck has not ended. In the off-season, Andrew Cashner and his 100-MPH fastball were injured when Casher's thumb was pierced by a friend who was dressing a deer they'd shot. Cashner is trying to work his way into shape to be a starter, but it's unknown if he'll be able to log enough innings to be ready by Opening Day.
Quentin is having issues with his surgically-repaired knee again and hasn't appeared in an official Cactus League game (although he did play Monday in a minor league game, going 3-for-6 with a home run).
Cameron Maybin has played well in spurts interrupted by back and wrist pain.
Logan Forsythe has also showed promise but missed time with plantar fasciitis.
Now, Chase Headley is going to miss at least a month with a broken thumb he suffered sliding in to 2nd base trying to break up a double play. The team doesn't expect Headley to experience any lingering effects, but the Padres offense certainly will.
Headley won the Silver Slugger award and led the National League in runs batted in last year. A player like that is not just a luxury for manager Bud Black to pencil in to the 3rd spot in the order every day. Headley affects the hitters in front of, and behind him.
For example, the second spot in the Padres lineup scored 23 more runs in 2012 than they did in 2011. Sure, part of that is because Headley was driving that guy in more often. But the Padres #2 spot also saw its OPS rise 76 points. That means the guys hitting there were getting better pitches to hit.
I would love to think the Padres are going to have a better start to 2013 than they did last year. But all these injuries are eerily similar.