Padres @ Dodgers April 3, 2017: Opening Day! Baseball is back!

(Via)

Happy Opening Day, everyone. Before we begin, here’s the Dodgers’ starting lineup, courtesy of their Twitter account.

I like this format. I hope they do it every game (but I don’t think they will).

As for the lineup itself, it’s a little surprising. The starting eight isn’t surprising, but the order is a bit. Andrew Toles draws leadoff duties instead of new acquisition Logan Forsythe (who hits fifth). Other than that, I would have thought Yasmani Grandal would be a little higher in the order, but if he’s the No. 7 hitter, you know the lineup is deep. And Yasiel Puig is hitting eighth — and that isn’t as absurd as it sounds. Here’s hoping he hits enough to get himself out of that spot during the season.

Oh, and Clayton Kershaw is pitching. It’s his seventh consecutive Opening Day call. The Dodgers have won the previous six outings. And here’s a fun fact: the last non-Kershaw pitcher to start an Opening Day for the Dodgers is Vicente Padilla (2010). Seriously.

The Padres, projected to be baseball’s worst team, are rolling out an extremely young lineup of players you’ve probably not heard of. But there is some potential in those young SD bats.

You know of Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte, and you’ve probably heard of Erick Aybar from his Angel days, but there are a couple intriguing young bats to watch out for. Manuel Margot is probably the Padres’ best hitting prospect, and he’s hitting leadoff for the Friars today. He was acquired from Boston (with others) for Craig Kimbrel. Hunter Renfroe is hitting cleanup and was Billy Gasparino’s first draft pick as the Padres’ scouting director in 2012. (Gasparino is now the Dodgers’ scouting director). Austin Hedges is a premium defensive catcher, but he may have learned to hit a little over the winter and could be an impact player.

But, I don’t expect those guys to be terribly productive against the game’s best pitcher — at least, not at this stage of their respective careers.

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Here are a couple bits of news:

This seemed like a foregone conclusion. Pedro Baez will be back soon. Maybe Chris Hatcher has a shorter leash than first expected, or maybe Ross Stripling finds his way to Oklahoma City earlier than he thought (even though he probably shouldn’t).

Way to go out on a limb there, Dave.

Some wise words from the Godfather of Dodger bloggers.

He’s right on all points.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t post this gem from TheConman.

It’d have been better if he did the entire clip, but that’s one hell of an undertaking. For now, this is fantastic.

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Here’s to a fun and (hopefully) successful 2017 Dodgers’ season.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.