Good morning, Padres fans. While last night’s action didn’t go our way, it still felt good to see the Friars play against another team in somewhat real action! With that, let’s get into the key takeaways:
- Garrett Richards took the hill to start last night, and was largely sharp over 4.2 innings in the Padres’ 1-0 exhibition loss to the Angels. Richards threw 79 pitches to get through his outing, partially due to struggling early with his fastball, then having some soft contact go bad and allowed a run thanks in part to his throwing error in the 1st. Richards also recorded 5 Ks and 1 BB.
- The bullpen, for their part, looked sharp. LHP Matt Strahm ended the fifth inning for Richards, and Craig Stammen, Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagán and Kirby Yates all threw scoreless innings in relief.
- For their part, the Padres fielded largely what most believe will be their Opening Day lineup, though that probably doesn’t bode well for the team going forward. Angels RHP Griffin Canning encountered little trouble in his 6 shutout innings, as OF Edward Olivares’ 3rd-inning double, C Austin Hedges’ single in the 5th, and SS Fernando Tatis’ infield single in the 6th were the Padres’ only hits.
- Both managers agreed to keep playing afterwards, mostly to get a feel for for the new extra-innings rule in which an automatic runner starts each inning at second base. As intended, the new rule sparked some additional offense. The Angels plated two more runs against RHP Javy Guerra (though only one was earned, because the inherited runner does not count against a pitcher’s line). The Padres scored a run in the bottom half of the frame with a chance to score with the bases loaded when the inning ended prematurely; Angels Keynan Middleton had reached his pitch count. The teams also played the top half of the 11th inning as well, but RHP Pierce Johnson’s frame also ended early because of pitch count, though he didn’t allow a runner to score.
- Against certain left-handed hitters Monday night, Tingler stationed Machado in short right field as part of the team’s shift. It paid off on one occasion as Machado ranged to his left to rob Matt Thaiss of what appeared to be a clean single. Machado fielded, spun, and threw to a retreating Eric Hosmer at 1B. Machado almost never played on the right side of 2B last season. But the Padres’ thinking behind shifting him is simple. He’s arguably their best defender, so why not put him into a spot where he’s more likely to field the ball?
- After the game, Manager Jayce Tingler expressed his disappointment, saying “I was hoping we’d be a little sharper with the at-bats. For the most part, we managed the zone all right. You look up at end of the night, 9 punchouts, 3 walks. We had a couple chases in there. Not a lot of barrels. I was hoping we were a little sharper.” Tingler acknowledged that the team is still fine-tuning things, so expect changes going forward.
- For much of Spring Training, Tingler seemed poised to bat Fernando Tatis Jr. leadoff, followed by Tommy Pham and Machado. On Monday, however, Trent Grisham started in the No. 2 spot with Pham hitting 4th. Tingler seemed to indicate that that’s a possibility against right-handed pitching. The lefty-hitting Grisham has shown a penchant for reaching base. But Tingler added that the team is still experimenting with its lineup options, saying, “We’re still playing around with how we’re going to be an effective offense, how we can avoid (unfavorable lefty-righty match-ups), things like that coming out of the bullpen. Obviously, we didn’t score a run for nine innings. We’re still playing around with things.”
Here’s some additional news and notes coming out of the match-up.
- RHP Chris Paddack will take the hill on Opening Day, as most anticipated. “I had chills running down my arms,” Paddack said. “I took a deep breath and really reflected on all my hard work paying off ever since surgery. This is something that’s been a goal of mine ever since I picked up a baseball.” Paddack will face-off against the D-backs’ Madison Bumgarner.
- RHP Zach Davies will take the ball for the team’s final intrasquad game on Tuesday, potentially lining him up to start Game 4. On Wednesday night, the Padres will play one more exhibition against the Angels in Anaheim. Joey Lucchesi and Cal Quantrill will face the Angels, possibly with the 5th spot in the starting rotation on the line. In the end, the decision might be moot; both players are expected to make the Opening Day roster.
- Recent acquisition LHP Tim Hill, who arrived from Kansas City via trade on Thursday night, debuted at Padres camp and threw his first bullpen session on Sunday. Tingler said he expects Hill to be ready for Opening Day, and Hill will pitch in Tuesday night’s intrasquad game. “After he does that, we’ll start talking roles — not just with him, but I’d like to get all the bullpen guys and be as clear as we can on roles with the idea that with 60 games, it’s going to be a little bit different,” Tingler said. “We’ve all got to be a little bit flexible.”
- For those of you who are T-Mobile subscribers, you get a free subscription to both MLB.tv and The Athletic this year. It’s a limited time offer, so if you’re already a member, here’s the link.
That’s it for today. Anything I missed, fire away in the comments. Go Padres!