Today is Opening Day for the San Diego Padres as the Friars begin a four-game series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix. The 2021 Padres (79-83) were one of MLB’s biggest disappointments with their total collapse after the All-Star break. Manager Jayce Tingler was fired and experienced and respected skipper, Bob Melvin, was brought aboard. This season started off on a sour note before the first pitch was even thrown when shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. fractured his wrist in an offseason motorcycle accident. El Niño is not expected to return until late June. The big story out of the Padres Spring Training camp was the outstanding play of young shortstop C.J. Abrams. The Pads definitely need a SS with Tatis out. Will GM A.J. Preller gamble on 21YO Abrams who has only Double-A experience or will he let Abrams develop in Triple-A and go with the unspectacular Ha-Seong Kim until Tatis returns?* The other big Spring Training story was the Padres’ acquisition of Yankee slugger Luke Voit for the DH spot.
Padres’ ace Yu Darvish will be on the mound today. The Opening Day starting line-up looks to be as follows:
- Trent Grisham (CF)
- Manny Machado (3B)
- Jake Cronenworth (2B)
- Luke Voit (DH)
- Eric Hosmer (1B)
- Wil Myers (RF)
- Austin Nola (C)
- Jurickson Profar (LF)
- Ha-Seong Kim (SS)
I’ll check back with you at the All-Star break for a mid-season assessment. Go Padres!
My other sports interests: The Los Angeles Chargers finished the 2021 season with a 9-8 record, missing a wild-card playoff spot by a hair. Sophomore QB phenom, Justin Herbert, developed into one of the NFL’s premier passers, but the Bolts need to bolster their D to compete in the AFC West. The Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers finished fourth in the Atlantic Hockey Conference with a conference record of 12-10-4. The Tigers lost a 4-3 decision to Air Force in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament. The New York Knicks are a disappointing 35-45 with two games left to play in the season. Everyone expected much more from the hapless Knicks. Coach Tom Thibodeau is on the hot seat, but will probably return next season. The bright spot is the continuing development of young Knicks, R.J. Barrett, Immanuel Quickly, and Obi Toppin.
*Update: The Padres announced today that C.J. Abrams did make the Opening Day roster