One of the few unknowns about the Padres during Spring Training 2021 is who the Opening Day starting pitcher will be. There are plenty of options, with four different guys on the roster who've done it before.
After one trip through the rotation we don't have much clarity on that. Everyone has looked fantastic.
Yu Darvish made his case to get the ball first after a stellar Cactus League debut in a 4-3 loss to the Royals on Sunday. Darvish tossed 2.0 innings, striking out four and allowing one hit (a soft single by Adalberto Mondesi).
Darvish follows scoreless outings by rotationmates Chris Paddack, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell. So far, those four have combined for a decent stat line:
Oh, and the 5th guy in the rotation, Dinelson Lamet, might be the most dominant of them all. He hasn't thrown in a Cactus League game yet as he eases back into form from a late-season elbow injury but it appears he's progressing nicely.
This is a guy who finished 4th in the National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2020 so if he's right the Padres starting rotation is looking like it has the potential to be every bit as dominant as we hoped it would be after their dizzying off-season.
On Sunday the Padres got most of their offense from the long ball. Trent Grisham led off with a home run and Eric Hosmer added an opposite field solo shot in the 4th inning.
In the 5th inning the Royals had their best chance to do some offensive damage. Kansas City loaded the bases with two hits and a walk against lefty Tim Hill ... and Hill proceeded to strike out the next three hitters to get out of the jam unscathed. KC's only run came on a 6th inning homer by Michael Taylor off Dan Altavilla.
20-year-old phenom C.J. Abrams, the 8th-ranked prospect in baseball (by MLB Pipeline), added one more in the 8th inning with an RBI single that brought home Jorge Mateo for a 3-1 lead. Padres reliever Nick Ramirez coughed it all up in the top of the 9th. Ramirez allowed three runs, the last two coming in a Kelvin Gutierrez homer that gave the Royals the win.
The Padres have an off day on Monday then play the White Sox on Tuesday afternoon with Snell on the mound for his 2nd Cactus Practice outing.
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