Opening Day 2016 for the San Diego Padres brought new hope, fresh faces and some new features at Petco Park.
The Padres play doesn’t appear to have changed much from last year though as they got shelled by the Dodgers 15-0. There were some encouraging signs from the team though as well as added features for the park.
Andy Green displayed his defensive styles as he employed a defensive shift that moved Yangervis Solarte from his normal spot at third to a spot straight up the middle and slightly beyond the second base bag. This allowed Cory Spangenberg to move to short right field.
This defensive alignment was used four times, twice against Joc Pederson and twice against Adrian Gonzalez. It resulted in a strikeout, a walk and two ground outs that were bullets at Spangenberg in short right. Both of those groundouts would have fallen for hits sans shift.
We also saw the debuts of Luis Perdomo and Jabari Blash, a pair of rule 5 draftees who found their way onto the major league roster. Perdomo looked a little overmatched and didn’t appear to trust his location from the outset as he had Adrian Gonzalez at 2-2 but lost him to a walk after two more balls. He ended the day with a rough outing.
He did make his major league debut facing Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig as his first two batters, though. Blash has a much less auspicious debut, drawing a nice walk and displaying a disciplined eye and approach as he worked a seven-pitch walk in his only trip to the plate. He laid off three pitches that gave the crowd hesitation.
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The Padres highlight of the night had to go to Alexei Ramirez, who barehanded a slow roller off the bat of Chase Utley to limit the damage in the inning.
The Padres also have made a strong attempt to keep Petco Park fresh in the eyes of the fans, adding little nuances and major construction to the park.
Moved is the beach play area at the park at the park, it has been relocated to behind the Sun Diego party deck, which took the place of the beach. The beach has also been shrunk down in size to about a tenth of its old size. The retired numbers gave way to a Sycuan marquee in
The retired numbers gave way to a Sycuan marquee in center above the batters eye. The numbers have been relocated to two places, as human sized numbers in the vicinity of the home plate entrance and in the Padres Hall of Fame ring just above the Jerry Coleman Broadcast booth.
Apr 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Tyson Ross delivering a fastball. Credit: Kellie Mrozek
There is still plenty of enthusiasm and hope for the season as exactly zero of the runs scored tonight carry over to Tuesday’s game, where James Shields looks to quiet all the trade rumors. Baseball is back; life is good.