The San Diego Padres have set their rotation with the season opener just two days away, and it doesn’t look exactly how most expected it to.
One of spring’s most compelling questions has finally been answered for the San Diego Padres. The starting pitching rotation has been announced, and it doesn’t look quite like fans envisioned it to.
Jhoulys Chacin, just signed this offseason, will start on Opening Day on Monday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The rotation is then rounded out with Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver, and Luis Perdomo.
While not necessarily shocking, there are two minor surprises with the rotation. First, Chacin being named the Opening Day starter is what stands out most. Left-hander Richard was the favorite coming into spring training, and nothing really happened in March that would change this.
Plus, since Chacin missed a good part of camp due to his participation in the World Baseball Classic, most would have expected Richard to have gotten ample opportunity to lock up the ace role. But instead, the 33-year-old will be the club’s second starter, and make his first start of the season on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The other minor surprise is the most significant of the two, the fifth starting slot. With Perdomo winning the battle, aspiring starters such as Jarred Cosart and Christian Friedrich were left out. Many expected Friedrich to win the job, but instead the 23-year-old right-hander will get the nod in the team’s hope opener this coming Friday, as announced late this week.
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The construction of the rotation must be taken for what it’s worth, as the team undoubtedly took matchups into account as well as raw ability. With a busy offseason behind the Padres in which they acquired 60% of their rotation and extended Richard, the club is much more confident in their rotation than they would have been had significant moves not been made.
Likewise, fans should feel the same degree of confidence. With the club’s first four starters having multiple seasons of experience under their belts and even all-star appearances, the team is solid enough to compete in the NL West at these spots. Perdomo is the one questionable link, but the good news is that the Padres have several other potential starters behind Perdomo who had solid springs, as mentioned earlier.
With the rotation set, the matchups for the first series of the season at Dodger Stadium are set. Stay tuned to Friars on Base for extensive coverage of Opening Day and the difficult four game series against the defending NL West champions.