Ludwick, Tejada trades help Headley

Ludwick, Tejada trades help Headley

SAN DIEGO -- Though the acquisitions Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada at the Trade Deadline were expected to bolster the Padres' offense on their own, it was believed that the additions also benefit the rest of the hitters that would slide down in the order.

The best example of that so far is probably Chase Headley.

Headley is batting .308 since Aug. 2, the first game that Ludwick and Tejada were both in the San Diego starting lineup, with six doubles, three home runs, 16 RBIs and 12 runs entering Wednesday. During the Padres' recently completed road trip, Headley tallied at least one RBI in nine of the 10 games.

Those 16 RBIs match his total in June and July combined, which he said is a tribute to the additional opportunities he has had to drive in runs with the new additions to the batting order.

"I just think we put more capable at-bats in there, and that's the main productivity that you're going to see," Headley said. "I think everybody's going to hit with more guys on base, everybody's going to have a better chance to drive in runs and score runs. That takes the pressure off. When you have five or six opportunities throughout the game to drive in runs versus one or two, it's a lot easier to get it done."

But Ludwick specifically has also indirectly helped Headley in a somewhat unexpected way. Headley, a switch-hitter that has had plenty of well-documented offensive woes batting right-handed this season, noticed a quirk in Ludwick's swing while he was hitting in the cage earlier this month that piqued the third baseman's interest.

"[Ludwick] does a little toe tap, which is just a little timing mechanism," Headley said. "That's something I've been struggling with all year is my timing from that side. I was like, 'You know what? What's going to happen? Am I going to hit worse?' "

Since implementing the extra move in his swing during the Padres' series in Arizona in early August, Headley's numbers from the right side have taken a dramatic climb from his .209 season clip. He's batting .308 against left-handed pitching since Aug. 6, with three doubles, one triple, one home run and four RBIs.

"I tried it just from watching [Ludwick], and it made a huge impact," Headley said.