It had been trending this way for a while. On Thursday it became official.
Yu Darvish’s first start in a Padres uniform will come on Opening Day. The 34-year-old will be first out of the gate against the Diamondbacks, followed by fellow fresh Friar face Blake Snell in game 2.
Darvish and Snell were acquired in blockbuster trades at the end of December and are major reasons San Diego is being looked at as a legitimate World Series contender. Neither man has allowed an earned run during Cactus League play yet, making things a little tough on manager Jayce Tingler (in a very good way).
“Honestly, it’s a really hard decision,” says Tingler. “I think what would have made it even more incredibly tough is is Lamet had been built up, as well. At the end of the day I don’t think you can go wrong. It could have gone either way.”
Lamet was the Padres best pitcher a year ago, finishing 4th in the National League Cy Young Award balloting. He left his final start of the year with an arm injury and didn’t throw in the playoffs. Lamet has been slowly working his way back and made his first start on Wednesday night against the Giants.
He got through one inning (allowing one run) using mostly his fastball and said he felt really good during the outing. Tingler says Lamet reported feeling good the morning after, as well, an important and positive step in his recovery. It’s still unlikely Lamet will be on the Opening Day roster.
Tingler also says shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder) went through a practice on Thursday and is scheduled to be the designated hitter for the evening game against the Rangers … reliever Drew Pomeranz (forearm) threw a bullpen and might get back in a Cactus League game soon … and outfielder Trent Grisham (hamstring) ran nearly 100% on Wednesday and they’re keeping an eye on him on Thursday.
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