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Christian Bethancourt is starting in right field for the Padres tonight and your guess why is as good as mine

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I certainly didn't see that coming. The Padres made public their lineup for tonight's series opener versus the Dodgers, and it includes Christian Bethancourt starting in right field. The bomb-blasting Bethancourt has never appeared in a professional game anywhere other than behind the plate, and if he were to play elsewhere in the field I would have expected it to be at third base, as he had been taking ground balls there before games recently.

With Bethancourt being one of the few Padres hitting even halfway decently, it makes sense to try to get his bat into the lineup if they'd like to score more than one run. Of course this could be achieved by letting him play the only position he has ever played in organized baseball, and allowing Derek Norris and his disappointing bat to sit along with Matt Kemp; it's not like there isn't a Travis Jankowski right there ready to be used. But, hey, I'm not a manager, and I'd never claim to know better than one.

As for Kemp's absence from the lineup, there's no need to be alarmed. He's just getting a well-deserved breather after starting 41 of 42 games, including the past 32. That's a lot even if you don't have arthritic hips.