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Torre names Vicente Padilla to start opener


And the winner for the Dodgers’ opening-day starter is … Vicente Padilla.

Just like everybody had it figured.

Guess this falls under something of a "safe" choice, in that it takes away any pressure on the young bucks, Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley, for having to start the opener.

Also falls under: Hey, we don’t have a real ace, so what difference does it really make?

"We just had to pick somebody, so he was the guy," Manager Joe Torre said Thursday, somehow holding back the enthusiasm. "We have four guys you could put their names in a hat.''

Kershaw, however, is slotted into the No. 2 spot, meaning he’s scheduled to be the starter in the home opener at Dodger Stadium April 13.

Kershaw will be followed in the rotation by Billingsley and then Hiroki Kuroda. The fifth starter is still to be determined.

Padilla was acquired by the Dodgers for the final two months of the 2009 season, and during that period was their best starter.

He went 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA in eight games (seven starts), and then pitched seven scoreless innings in a division-series win over St. Louis. He also started the Dodgers’ only victory over Philadelphia in the NLCS.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Vicente Padilla throws some pitches while coach Rick Honeycutt looks on. Credit: Mark Duncan, AP.

Comments () | Archives (9)

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" takes away any pressure on the young bucks, Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley, for having to start the opener."

What? Are these guys 6 years old? Can we dock their pay if tthey're emotionally unmature to starting an opener?

Good point Grandpa. But I think Padilla starting the opener is just fine.

It's not like the Dodgers were going to compete this year anyway...

What is it about the internet that makes everyone feel like they need to piss and moan about everything? If you don't like it, Grandpa, don't buy a frickin ticket!

Me: Thanks for "needing to piss and moan" about me... Idiot.

We've got a winner! yee pee!

Perfect pick.

As I recall, there will be 161 more games during the season. Sure, there is something ceremonial about being the opening day starter, but in the scheme of things........

I realize that we're just getting ready for the season opener and all fans are supposed to be geeked about their teams chances of winning a hundred games including, the final game of the world series, but please forgive me if I burst the bubble already of any Dodger fan so silly as to really feel this way!

Jose Pidillia? That's our starting pitcher on oppening day?

After all that was said and done, the Dopdgers ended up with a pretty decent team last year. Not great by any means, but good enough to not only get into the playoff, but to beat a pretty good Cardinal team.

And what was the most glaring weekness of last year's team? Yep, starting picthing. And what do the Dopdgers do? Well, get rid of their only legitimate starter.

Perhaps I am too far removed to really know whats going on with Dodger management, but it certainly appears to me that every single move made was one designed to save money.

I think now the only hope for poor Dodger fans this year is that maybe some of their young, inexpensive pitchers will finally come through and have great years.

Elmer Henderson


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