Kemp, Upton to start in Padres' Cactus opener
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Padres manager Bud Black certainly isn't wasting any time when it comes to unveiling any of the new acquisitions general manager A.J. Preller assembled this past offseason.
When the Padres face the Mariners at 12:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday (live on MLB.TV) in their annual charity game, which marks the Cactus League kickoff for both teams, new outfielders Matt Kemp and Justin Upton will be in the team's starting lineup.
Black won't post a starting lineup until Wednesday morning, though on Tuesday he divulged a few of the players who will start against the Mariners, including Kemp and Upton, two of Preller's biggest acquisitions from December.
Kemp was acquired in a five-player trade with the Dodgers on Dec. 18. One day later, Preller swung big again, landing Upton from the Braves in a six-player deal.
Black also indicated that another newcomer, veteran infielder Clint Barmes, would be in the lineup on Wednesday, as will catcher Wil Nieves, outfielder Cameron Maybin and pitcher Jason Lane.
Black understands this is the unofficial kickoff to the 2015 season, in which expectations will certainly be a lot higher for a team that has essentially been remade this winter after a handful of stunning roster moves by Preller.
Along with that comes a sense of heightened anticipation for a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2006.
"We're OK with that bar being raised," Black said. "I'd rather have it this way than trying to sneak up on people."