Following a successful opening series against the Giants, which included a series victory and the largest opening weekend crowd in Petco Park history, the Padres now embark on a seven game road trip, their first of the season (even though they opened in L.A., it was technically not a road trip).
First up: The Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies are led by former Padres manager, Bud Black, and boast a mighty impressive lineup.
Granted, any lineup will succeed if they play 81 games at Coors Field, but this squad has talent that can play anywhere. Charlie Blackmon, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, and Mark Reynolds headline a mighty Colorado lineup that is going to score a ton of runs this year.
Former Padre, Alexi Amarista, was signed on to be a utility man. The major splash of the off-season for Colorado, Ian Desmond, is currently on the DL with a fractured hand he suffered in spring training.
As it always seems to be with the Rockies, the pitching will be key if they want to make a run in the N.L. West.
Trevor Cahill was placed on the 10-day DL Sunday with a lower back strain, so Jared Cosart will get the start for the Padres for the opener on Monday. Cosart, who had surgery this last off-season to remove a bone spur in his right elbow, has appeared in one game for the Padres so far in 2017. In 9 starts with the Padres in 2016, Jarred Cosart went 0-3 with a 6.03 ERA in 37.1 IP. As always, with Cosart, command will be key. Last year, he walked 23 hitters while only striking out 27.
Tyler Chatwood will be making his second start this season for the Rockies. The Redlands, California native had a very nice year in 2016, going 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA in 27 starts. His only outing so far this season came against the Brewers in Milwaukee, where he gave up seven hits and four ER in six innings pitched. Chatwood mostly pitches to contact. In Coors, he had a 6.12 ERA last year. On the road, that number was bumped down to 1.69.
All indications point towards a high scoring affair at Coors on Monday.
Jered Weaver topped out at 85 MPH with his fastball on Thursday, en route to giving up four runs in five innings of work against the Dodgers. It really could have been worse, too. He has never pitched at Coors Field before, so he’s probably in for a rude welcome. It will be a really popular play in Daily Fantasy Leagues to stack the Rockies on Tuesday, at Coors, against Weaver.
Countering Weaver will be RHP Antonio Senzatela, who will be making just his second big league start. The 22-year-old had never pitched above Double-A before his first MLB start against the Brewers last Thursday. In that start, Senzatela struck out six and allowed only two hits in five innings pitched. Senzatela sports a fastball, slider, and change, according to Bernie Pleskoff. This matchup is a bit of a wild card, but it is a pretty sure bet that the Rockies will score some runs off Weaver. We will see if the Padres can counter those runs with some of their own.
Luis Perdomo will toe the rubber in the series finale for the Padres. Perdomo, who was excellent in Friday’s home opener up until the sixth inning, is looking for a little redemption against the Rockies. Colorado is the team last year who roughed him up pretty good in his three starts against them. He’ll look to keep the ball on the ground and show some more of the potential that he showed at Petco on Friday night.
LHP Kyle Freeland will pitch the finale for Colorado. Like Senzatela, Freeland made his big league debut just last week against the Brew Crew, tossing six innings, striking out six, and only giving up four hits and a run. The former first-round selection will look to continue his rookie campaign with another solid start against the Padres.
Players to Watch
The slick-fielding third baseman has typically hurt the Padres and is capable of doing so in many ways. His power threat is unreal (especially in Colorado) and he has the ability to rob base hits and turn jaw-dropping double plays on almost every ball that is hit his way. The Padres will be wise to pitch to him carefully as he seems to be finding his swing of late.
Seeing Margot patrol center field at the spacious confines of Coors Field is going to be exciting. He has the speed and arm to be the difference maker for the Padres on the field. He is also showing a powerful bat that is blooming presently. Margot has the ceiling of a perennial all-star. Padres fans really need to enjoy the show, as he is capable of providing an exciting play at almost any time.
The bullpen has been wonderful early in the year. Jose Torres and Miguel Diaz are both throwing smoke out of the pen. A Rule-5 pick, Diaz does not look overmatched and he should have no problem sticking with the team the entire 2017 season. Ryan Buchter, Brad Hand, and Brandon Maurer provide veteran leadership, but they will all be tested in Colorado because a high scoring game is possible at any time. The weather in Colorado is still pretty cool, so the Padres might be safe in terms of getting the rotation and bullpen beat up.
The San Diego Padres will find a way to win game in the series. You can concede another game to the Rockies. The third and final result will be the difference in whether or not the Padres can come out of Colorado with a series victory.