03/21/11 10:30 PM ET
Baxter to have surgery on thumb
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Latos is likeliest Opening Day candidate
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres manager Bud Black isn't quite ready to announce his Opening Day starter for March 31 against the Cardinals in St. Louis, but barring injuries, it's becoming increasingly obvious that it will be Mat Latos.Black said he planned to make his decision official sometime within the next few days. Latos, scheduled to start on Monday night against the White Sox at Peoria Stadium, is set to pitch in five days here against the Dodgers, five days before the Padres face the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Circumstantial evidence? You be the judge. "At this point, you could draw the conclusion that [Latos] does set up," Black said before the game. "But things could change. We hope things stay consistent as far as health so we can stay in line as we are now." Black said the real consideration was at least announcing the first four starters in his five-man rotation at the same time he reveals his Opening Day starter. The No. 4 starter would be pegged to pitch the home opener at PETCO Park against the defending World Series-champion Giants on April 5.
2010 Spring Training - San Diego Padres
News & Features
- Padres invite 21 non-roster players to camp
- Padres pleased with offensive options in-house
- Cashner likely to miss start of '13 with thumb injury
- Padres unveil 37-game Spring Training schedule
- Padres rebuild system into one of league's best
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Clayton Richard and Tim Stauffer, both pegged for the rotation, have had injury setbacks during the spring. "I'd like to announce the entire rotation at one time," Black said. "The last couple of weeks Stauffer [sore hip flexor] missed a start. Clayton [sore shoulder] had a slow start. I want to make sure everybody's set physically and mentally. As soon as I say Opening Day starter, the question is, who's pitching the second game?" Right now, Black isn't sure. Latos, 23, is beginning his second full Major League season. It would be his first Opening Day assignment. Last year, he was 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA, but was 13-3 with a 164 ERA in 22 starts from May 1 to Sept. 7 before fading toward the end. Last year's Opening Day starter at Arizona was Jon Garland, who took the 6-3 loss. Garland is now with the Dodgers and has been out most of the spring, nursing a strained oblique.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.