Buddy Black pitched 15 years in the Major Leagues. During that time he started on Opening Day four times, including for the Royals in 1985, the year Kansas City won the World Series.
Before their Thursday night game against the Giants in Peoria, the Padres manager announced he was giving Andrew Cashner the honor of being the Padres' Opening Day starter on March 30 against the Dodgers at Petco Park.
"I think it's a feather in the cap of any starting pitcher who gets an Opening Day assignment," said Black. "I think he's the guy we want to start the season with."
Black said he told Cashner about it a few days ago, and the decision makes perfect sense. In his first four Cactus League appearances Cash had not allowed a run.
Perhaps it was just making up for lost time, but Andrew got pounded by the Giants in a bad way.
He gave up eight runs in 3.2 innings (only four of them earned). The biggest blow was a grand slam by Buster Posey in the second inning to put San Francisco up 7-0. Cashner was really struggling with his control, missing out over the plate with his fastball.
The ball Posey hit was a 3-1 heater at 96 MPH, but it was up and right in the former MVP catcher's happy zone. The Giants ended up winning 11-3. The good news is, the game doesn't count, and Cashner will get one more start before taking the mound for real.