03/29/2013 8:26 PM ET
Short right field featured in Alamodome's first baseball game
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
SAN ANTONIO -- Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso heard about the short right-field dimensions of the Alamodome before he set foot on the field prior to Friday's game.
His eyes almost couldn't believe it -- 285 feet down the right field line with a 16-foot-high fence.
"Make sure you have your glove, it's going to get interesting," Alonso said before the Padres played the first of two games in a building that had never hosted a professional baseball game. "The dimensions are a little interesting. Personally, I think it's pretty cool."
Alonso was asked if he had encountered a field with that short of dimensions at any point during his youth or amateur career.
"I haven't gotten too lucky with that," he said. "For some reason, I've always played on really big fields. Maybe that has something to do with my age. I was always playing in a two-, three-year older league. The fields always feel so big."
But not this weekend, as manager Bud Black noted.
"It's a little close to home plate," Black said of the fence in right field. "I'm watching batting practice and it looks like the ball flies.
"I talked to a couple of San Antonians, and they say that kickers and punters like to kick the ball here and that it really travels. I've noticed the ball does carry."
The Alamodome is home to the Valero Alamo Bowl each December and the University of Texas-San Antonio football team in the fall. The San Antonio Talons, an Arena League football team, also plays here.
Padres option Layne, Blanks to round out roster
SAN ANTONIO - The Padres put the finishing touches on the 25-man Opening Day roster Friday night as they optioned left-handed pitcher Tommy Layne and first baseman Kyle Blanks to Triple-A Tucson.
Layne had a 9.90 ERA in 12 appearances this spring over 10 innings. He allowed 11 earned runs on 20 hits and had three walks and 15 strikeouts. Opponents hit .408 against him.
Layne impressed late last season, posting a 3.24 ERA in 26 appearances. As it stands now, Joe Thatcher is the lone left-hander in the bullpen.
Blanks had one of the best performances of the spring, hitting .354 in 65 at-bats. He had three home runs and 14 RBIs.
"In Kyle's situation, he's got to establish himself again as a durable player, and he's got to play," said Padres manager Bud Black.
"His seasons have been interrupted due to injury. But he's very capable of being a good Major League player."
Black also confirmed that right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross will be the No. 5 starter in the rotation and will pitch on April 6 in Colorado.
Andrew Cashner, another candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, has made the team as a long reliever, though the organization still wants him to become a starter.
Ransom's ring delivery caps off big week
SAN ANTONIO -- It was a pretty nice week for Padres veteran infielder Cody Ransom, who has not only earned a spot on the Padres' Opening Day roster but also received a fancy new piece of jewelry earlier this week.
This was some serious bling, too.
Ransom received his championship ring for being a part of the Reno Aces team that won both the Pacific Coast League title and the Triple-A championship last year.
"Not too bad," Ransom said of his week.
The 37-year-old Ransom, who will be a part of his third Opening Day in the big leagues come Monday in New York, didn't get much of a chance to wear the ring as he gave it to his wife before the team broke camp and headed to San Antonio for two games against the Rangers.
Ransom was also part of an Opening Day roster in 2004 with the Giants and '09 with the Yankees.
"I gave it to her to put with the other ones," said Ransom, who estimates he has four or five rings from various Minor League stops during a professional career that began in 1998.
That's not all, though. Two of Ransom's favorite rings -- for obvious reasons -- were the ones that he earned for being a part of the 2009 World Champion Yankees and the 2002 Giants, who lost to the Angels in the World Series. The pitching coach for those Angels was current Padres manager Bud Black.
Ransom, who signed a Minor League contract with the team in December, hit four home runs in Cactus League play and bounced around the infield. He was insurance in case the Padres needed it.
As it turns out, they did. Third baseman Chase Headley will miss most of April with a fractured tip to his left thumb. His replacement, Logan Forsythe, will miss six weeks after a setback with the plantar fasciitis in his right foot.
"I'm excited for the opportunity. Unfortunately, we had injuries to Chase and Logan. You wouldn't want to wish that on anyone. But that's why they signed me," Ransom said. "So far, it's been great. It's been a long, fun ride."
• The Padres brought eight Minor League players with them for the two-game series against Texas -- and seven of the eight will remain behind when the team leaves after Saturday's game. The players on the roster include pitchers Wilfredo Boscan, Jeffrey Ibarra, Ryan Kelly, Kevin Quackenbush and Donn Roach, infielder Jonathan Galvez, outfielder Rico Noel and catcher Eddy Rodriguez. Galvez will begin the season with Triple-A Tucson.