A few changes from yesterday’s line-up. The corner outfield spots switch out, in part because the Padres are sending up a left-handed starter. Tim Locastro and Wyatt Mathisen take over from Pavin Smith and David Peralta respectively, so the #LetTimmyPlay crowd will be pleased by that! Carson Kelly takes over the catching duties from Stephen Vogt as well. We get out first look at Merrill Kelly since his thoracic outlet surgery, which is definitely a bit of a wild-card as far as health issues go. With the loss of Zac Gallen, Kelly’s performance is going to be magnified in importance over the first half of the season.
David Peralta audio [or link]
Peralta was available to the media this afternoon, and was asked about sitting against a left-hander. “I’m good. Whatever is the best for the team. I’m sure I’m going to be there as soon as they need me so I’m just going to be prepared and be ready from the first inning. I’m just going to be here for the team and be ready for any situation.” Asked if he’s talked with Torey much about not facing lefties this season: I talk a lot with Torey and he and I have talked about everything... It’s up to him and he makes the best decision for the team. I always tell him, ‘Hey I’m going to be ready whenever you need me’”. Peralta pointed to the impact of Tim Locastro off the bench yesterday as an example of what he means.
Torey Lovullo audio [or link]
Torey Lovullo notes
Nick Ahmed: He seemed to be hesitant when asked if he was concerned about how this injury was lingering and repeated some of the comments from recent press conference. He did say his concern shifted a bit when told Nick could have played if it were the last week of the season and his focus is on getting him through the full season. He still feels he’ll be on the field very soon.
Zac Gallen threw a 39 pitch bullpen Wednesday. He did not throw any curveballs, but threw all his other pitches at 100% effort. He’ll pitch in a sim game soon. He’ll need to be able to throw curves and his full complement of pitches before he can come back. That box needs to be checked. Getting stretched out fairly quickly is not a concern however. It sounds like if Zac can throw his curve without pain we might see him a lot sooner than I originally thought. One thing that was brought up is whether Zac can get in the cage and swing the bat without pain or concern of reinjuring. Torey didn’t have an answer for that one yet.
Pitching to Caratini last night: Interesting nugget, 21 times they issued intentional walks, and only 3 resulted in a run. He believes in that strategy when applied situationally. But he said that this was simply a situation where he believed in Madison Bumgarner. He did not want to get involved in overriding Madbum and Vogt. “It was our ace in the 4th inning on opening day, I just didn’t feel like it was the right move (overriding him) at that point”
Merrill Kelly: No added impetus to get him deep in game, will play it out inning by inning and the match-up as needed.
Platooning: He has talked to all of the players (including Peralta) and everyone is clear the plan this year is to play matchups and platoon, and there will be a lot of earlier in game pinch hit and switches going on. Based on the roster, and having the extra player he believes this is the best way to make use of the player they have in his opinion.
Kole Calhoun ran 180 yards of bases. He’ll get live at bats in the coming days. It sounds like he is progressing quickly as well, but still not specific date on his return.