04/01/07 8:22 PM ET
Notes: Peavy, Padres aiming high
Opening Day starter feels San Diego staff stacks up
By Sandy Bergin / Special to MLB.com
Jake Peavy didn't mince any words Sunday as he came off the field after the San Diego Padres' final workout at PETCO Park before their season begins on Tuesday in San Francisco.
"I think we've got as good a staff as anybody in baseball, on paper," said Peavy. "But we know we have to do it between the white lines."
Peavy will get the first opportunity to showcase the Padres' vaunted starting pitching staff when he takes the mound on Tuesday at AT&T Park against Barry Zito and Bruce Bochy's San Francisco Giants.
"It's going to be fun; Opening Day is a huge honor," said Peavy. "We have five guys who are certainly capable of being out there on Opening Day. It's an honor to be chosen, and I just want to take it all in."
Bud Black, who will be making his managerial debut on Tuesday, feels that Peavy has earned the honor of the Opening Day start.
"Jake is a Padre, drafted and developed by our organization," said Black. "He's the guy who deserves the opportunity to pitch on Opening Day. He's had great success -- won an ERA title, a strikeout title. This guy is a legitimate No. 1 pitcher. And we wanted to let Jake know how we feel. This is a great feather in his cap."
Hensley's blister: Black believes that Clay Hensley, who developed a blister on his middle finger on Saturday, should be able to pitch his first game on Thursday in San Francisco.
"Talking to him, I think he's going to be fine," said Black. "We'll see how he throws on the side on Tuesday. I don't foresee any problem. He's had a little bit of that in past, but it hasn't been a hindrance."
"It's the first time I've had a blister since last year,"said Hensley. "I was a little hard-headed in wanting to stay out there, but I think [I] did the right thing, coming out."
Hensley gave up three hits and run in 1 2/3 innings against Arizona, throwing 46 pitches.
Lineup set: Black offered up the Padres' starting lineup for Tuesday. And though it does not include Terrmel Sledge, the Padres manager said that Sledge would start in left field on both Wednesday and Thursday against the Giants.
Second baseman Marcus Giles will lead off, followed by his brother, right fielder Brian Giles. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who signed a new $19.5-million contract on Sunday, will bat third followed by catcher Josh Bard, shortstop Khalil Greene, third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, left fielder Jose Cruz, Jr. and Peavy.
Black said both Kouzmanoff and Sledge would get plenty of at-bats "as we work through April," even if one of the players gets in a slump.
Facing Barry & Bochy: Black said that the Padres "will not back down" from Barry Bonds.
"Barry is, without a doubt, a force. I've seen it up close, both as a teammate and as an opponent in the World Series," Black said. "We're not going to back down from Barry at times, but other times we'll make baseball judgment on how we pitch to him or whether we pitch to him or not. Those are situations of the game that we'll know in the dugout that would be totally clear to people in the seats."
Asked how it feels to be "taking on" Bochy, Black said, "I don't think 'taking on' is the right word. The Padres are playing the Giants. We are going to play our game, and the players and coaching staff are going to be pulling together to help us win games. I'll ultimately make the in-game decisions, but we are all about the Padres. And we are just concerned with our team."
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.