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Headley's spring focus is reps, not results

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A year ago, before Chase Headley officially embarked on a career-year at the plate and one of the best offensive seasons in club history, he hit a dismal .224 in Spring Training.

But Headley, the Padres' switch-hitting third baseman, wasn't so much disappointed with the average, as that's not a focus in exhibition games.

What is important for Headley is getting enough at-bats from each side of the plate before the Padres break camp in late March.

"We're going to start slow because we've got so many games," Headley said. "We don't worry about it early on. As we get closer to opening the season, I might go to [manager Bud Black] and say if there's an opportunity to, say, get more right-handed at-bats, we'll do that.

"It can be a little challenging to get enough at-bats from both sides."

Last spring, Headley got 27 bats as a left-handed hitter and 22 from the right side. He could receive more than those 49 at-bats since the team is playing a club-record 38 exhibition games. The Padres will likely use Logan Forsythe and possibly Jedd Gyorko at third base as well in games.

The key, Headley said, is feeling good from both sides of the plate by the time the team leaves Arizona.

"There have been some springs where you feel better about it or not as good," he said. "We'll keep an eye on it."