We are now edging ever closer to opening day, and its about that time to start wondering about who the Padres opening day starter will be. Here’s a video from the Padres.com site where Bud Black talks opening day starter and sneaks in a little easter egg. Fast forward to 7:55, when Padres.com beat writer Corey Brock catches Bud Black point blank and asks, “Who’s your opening day starter?” Black’s response is hilarious, and without batting an eye, he names all five starters with an equal 20% chance of being the Opening Day starter. Then, he gives a little and supposes that if one were to ask about Cashner/Kennedy, then one would be on the better track.
So there you have it. The Opening Day nod is Cashner’s to solidify. Well what does it mean, and why would it make sense to hold back? Right now, the talent level and youth points to Cashner. Yet sometimes, the mental and maturity aspect matter just as much. With the Padres going into the season with some playoff buzz, and a big home opener again the rival Dodgers, there really are going to be a lot of distractions and extra attention that don’t help the concentration level of a pitcher. In the long run, opening first, or second will become a wash over the course of the season, so having an experienced opening day starter, like Ian Kennedy, absorb the distraction, may be better.
That’s why I like baseball, because it has so many dimensions. That’s why in Spring Training, the pitchers go through their physical routines, but also pitch with other coaches and players standing right behind them. It is a fishbowl, and it also provide mental reps along with the physical reps. Will Cashner be ready? I sure feel like it. Would Buddy Black throw a curve and slot Cashner second? Perhaps, and I know everyone would be on board with that.