Two of the Padres top four prospects–outfielders Jaff Decker and Donavan Tate–will apparently not be ready for the start of the minor league season in less than two weeks.
Decker is nursing a hamstring injury, while Tate, who has encountered many injuries since signing last August (and has yet to play), has a sprained left shoulder.
Decker will report to High-A Lake Elsinore anyway, but won’t be ready in time for Opening Day. Decker has struggled with his weight, although he supposedly slimmed down to about 200 pounds over the offseason. Still, hamstring injuries can linger, and it has to be a concern for a bad-body prospect that he’s already dealing with hamstring problems at 20.
Tate injured his shoulder diving for a ball, so it’s not like it’s something he could have prevented. Again, though, it’s concerning that Tate continues to deal with injury issues this early in his career.
I’m not going to get overly worked up about either Tate or Decker’s injuries, since they aren’t projected to keep either out for particularly long, but with players so important to the future of the Padres, you certainly can’t be too careful.
Here’s hoping that Decker and Tate get well quickly and have strong, healthy 2010 seasons. Let’s hope these early injury issues aren’t an omen of misfortune to come in 2010.