Padres got off to a strong start with a season-opening series win over full-back D

Phoenix – As the opening weekend came, the Padres family couldn’t ask for more. (Well, sure, they could have called for a clean ninth round Thursday night—in which case, they’d be off to a perfect start.) But overall, it was a great start to the season for a team with high aspirations.

“Losing the first wasn’t perfect,” San Diego coach Bob Melvin said after their 10-5 win over Arizona on Sunday. “But to go back and win the next two and have more humiliation today – it was definitely a good idea to finish the streak.”

Here are three takeaways from an eventful weekend at Chase Field.

1. The depth of inclination must be within reach
“Keeping our health is the main issue,” right-handed Joe Musgrove said Saturday night when asked about the Padres’ sky-high rotation potential. “We would like to keep ourselves healthy for as long as possible. The players we have, we have a really strong chance of winning a lot of games.”

Welp. Even 24 hours after Musgrove uttered those words, Blake Snell’s left hand was scratched from his start on Sunday with a tight left adductor, the same injury he sustained last September. The injury, according to Snell, is “more slight” than last time, but he will likely end up on the list of injured.

This is where all that depth comes into play. It is clearly not ideal when such an electric arm is sidelined on the first flight during the spin. But the Padres family has options.

“At one point, it looked like we had too many,” Melvin said. “And here we are, four games a season, which is not a lot. Good job [president of baseball operations] AJ [Preller] to go out and get off [Sean] Immunodeficiency, for sure.”

Help could be on the way. Mackenzie Goure was outstanding in spring training and went through five goalless rounds in his first appearance of the season with Triple-A El Paso on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Mike Clevenger delivered an intense working session Sunday morning and will begin his rehab period later this week.

On top of that, the San Diego rotation front already looks dominant. Yu Darvish and Manaea kept Arizona without a hitch on back-to-back nights, followed by a quality Musgrove start on Saturday. Even with a short spring, Padres’ first three starts lasted at least six innings, meaning the Bulls were fresh when he needed to cover Snell on Sunday.

Attrition comes for every turn at some point in time. The Padres think they were made to withstand this.

2. The striking balance looks just right
After Jorge Alfaro learned that he and Nabil Crismatt became the first Colombian battery to start a match in Major League history, he took some time to absorb this information.

“It’s good to know, man,” said Alvaro. “It’s good to be a part of that.”

Then, Alvaro had something else come off his chest.

“I just want to say it’s fun to be here,” he added.

The Padres are happy to have him. Alvaro’s been all spring and he’s now 3 to 8 with a home run – a second one-on-one shot on Sunday – to start the season. If he could maintain this kind of success for any measure of time, his arrival would be a coup. San Diego Alfaro landed from Miami on modest cash considerations on the last day before closing.

It is only backup. Austin Nola, who is healthy after some brutal injuries during the 2021 season, also got off to a hot start. He’ll get the bulk of his playing time behind the board, and remain a very valuable piece as a strong defensive striker with a solid bat as well.

Of course, as with initiating promotion, depth of organizational capture is critical. And Padres Luis Camposano, third in the MLB pipeline, has a bunker in Triple-A. That level of depth made them comfortable tackling Victor Caratini to the Brewers on the eve of the season.

3. Some clarity lineup
It was worthwhile for the Padres to face two left and two right in the opening weekend, as Melvin’s first four starting lineups provided plenty of clues going forward.

First, on the Shortstop: CJ Abrams started against the right and Ha-Seong Kim against the left. Melvin says this wouldn’t necessarily be a strict platoon. He may ride the hot hand sometimes. But it’s the baseline.

On the first rule, it’s not entirely clear. Eric Hosmer is supposed to start against some left-handers, as he did against Madison Baumgarner on opening day. But when Hosmer sits down, the Padres have options. On Sunday, Luke Voigt slipped to number one, and Nola served as a designated racket. With such a strong offensive combo in the catcher, a DH presence could be in San Diego’s favour.

“Probably, yes,” Melvin said. “Austin is doing a great job with the left pitch, and Alvaro ran the bat really well.”

Next, there’s the impressive left-field stance. No, the Padres didn’t trade for Brian Reynolds, and they didn’t sign with Seiya Suzuki. Instead, they entered the season with serious question marks, as Jurikson Provar and Matt Petty were scheduled to share time.

Don’t you know that? Provar has made it to base seven times in 13 games with a pair of hosts – including the second half of a Grand Slam that put Padres on course to beat quarterback D on Sunday afternoon.