Tuesday morning, the San Diego Padres announced Jhoulys Chacin will be their opening day starting pitcher against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The season opener will be on Monday, April 3 at Dodgers Stadium.
Chacin took the hill at Petco Park earlier this month for his native country of Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic. This isn't the first time the right hander gets the opening day nod.
In 2013 he opened the season for the Colorado Rockies and says he’s using that experience to his advantage.
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“When I did it in 2013 I was younger. I was more kind of a prospect. Right now I’m older…a veteran guy,” said Chacin of how much he’s grown. “You know, I just want to take care of the day by day, just take it like a normal game, just don’t try to do too much and always try to give the team a chance to win the game.”
While the Venezuelan is drawing from his past experience, he’s also looking towards the future and setting goals for this season. “I also want to reach 200 innings. That’s my main goal,” says Chacin.
Health was an issue for the Friars in 2016.
Last year’s opening day starter, Tyson Ross missed all but the first game due to a shoulder injury.
Padres manager Andy Green thinks Chacin can go the distance saying, “He’s the type of guy that doesn’t rattle at all. I think his stuff can play effectively all through the season. Once you start the rotation and start turning it over, he’s one of five guys that are important to continued success for the team.”
In addition to Chacin, Green announced lefty Clayton Richard will start in Game 2 against the Dodgers and Jered Weaver gets the nod for Game 4 in the series. The last two spots in the starting rotation are still up for grabs. With spring training games coming to a close there are three pitchers fighting for those spots: San Diego product Trevor Cahill, Jarred Cosart and Luis Perdomo.
The Padres home opener at Petco Park will take place on Friday, April 7 at 3:40 p.m.