Jaff Decker, one of the Padres' better hitting prospects, will be in a doctor's office on Thursday. The Padres want another look at his fractured knuckle. "We think he'll be back in September for the playoffs," said farm director Randy Smith.
What caused the injury? A headfirst slide, done not so well. Commence clucking, all of you who carp about headfirst slides by baserunners. Smith doesn't like the practice either but isn't ready to forbid it.
"We prefer our guys go feet first," Smith said. "We have not disallowed it. Certain guys only slide headfirst. We tell them, keep the fingers up.
"Look at Rickey Henderson and all the times he did it. If you are doing it properly, you should be OK."
Decker isn't the first Padres prospect to dive for a base and onto the disabled list. Attempting to eke out a single, Logan Forsythe suffered a hand injury that sidelined him several weeks. He was in his first week as a pro.
Injuries have bookended an otherwise strong season for the outfielder Decker, who suffered a hamstring injury one week into spring training, then returned in May. The left-hander has a .374 on-base percentage and 17 home runs for Lake Elsinore. Has played in 79 games. This month, he batted .360 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 14 games. He is only 20.