“Observations from the Press Box”
The Padres open the home schedule with Atlanta, then host the Reds and the Dodgers before this 10-game homestand at Petco Park ends.
Observations on what I have seen:
EL NINO…Runs have been a challenge to find so far in this (4-3) start. Not having Fernando Tatis as the center piece of that batting order is hard and as vibrant as Manny Machado can be, he cannot create the rallies by himself.
WIL-MIA…A bad spring and a lousy start to the season makes Wil Myers look like ‘just a guy’ and that cost the Padres 20M to have that guy.
HOS-WHO…You wish Eric Hosmer could be the kind of bat and glove that would earn his 60M over the next three years. Hasn’t happened since he came from Kansas City, don’t see it happening.
CJ CAN DO…The young shortstop Abrams is impressive, now we have to see if he can hit major league pitching over an extended period. He is quick to the ball, needs to work on the mechanics of throwing, but so far so good.
DH-DUDE…Luke Voit likes his role-DH. A week into the season, we know this. He will hit a home-run, he may draw a walk, or he may strikeout. Will be fun to see what he does at Petco Park.
YU-IS HE OKAY…A no hit start in Arizona, and shelling in San Francisco, and questions we have. Darvish was brilliant the first half of last season, but never the same after he injured a hip. In his last 15-starts, Darvish has a (7.18-ERA) and teams are hitting (.256) against him.
BLAKE BANGED UP…Not enthused that Blake Snell has a reappearing groin issue, the one that ended his very good second half last season. This injury needs to be handled carefully, you don’t want it to worsen.
GORE GETS HERE…Now we will find out if all the mechanical flaws that plagued Mackenzie Gore are gone, for he likely goes into the starting rotation by Friday for his first MLB start. Good in spring, dominant in the first start in El Paso, now we get to see more.
THE WEATHERMAN IS NEXT…Ryan Weathers got blasted in his first start in El Paso, did very well in his second start in the PCL, and is probably one more good outing away from a recall. He is a bit more proven, though young, and can have a longer leash when he gets here.
COACHING INCIDENT..Quite a display of emotion from Mike Schildt in the 3rd base coaching box, his exchange with a Giants coach that some thought had racial overtones to it. Schildt and the Giants Antoan Richardson talked it out before the game and apologized to each other. It was a big news story on the networks and in print. Schildt has a little ‘red-ass’ in him, maybe that type of fire is good in the dugout and on a roster.
BALLY SPORTS…Popular, only way to describe Don Orsillo-Mark Grant on the Padres broadcasts, but why would they ignore the Schildt incident on the broadcast. Everyone else was talking about it. You can’t always color the broadcast Brown & Gold.
PAYROLL…Opening day ranked the Friars 5th in overall payroll, with a payroll pushing 228M, just a few pennies below the Luxury Tax threshold, so any further deals GM-AJ Preller makes will have to include salary exiting so owner Peter Seidler does not get hit by a bigger tax bill next year, the second year in a row he’d have to write a tax check.
PETCO PEOPLE…Going to be a fun 10-game homestand, and am sure the electricity in the stadium will be equal to what it was last year as the season opened, when they were beating the Dodgers, in first place, before the injuries wrecked the pitching staff, guys stopped hitting, and they went (12-36) at the end of the season.