Pablo Sandoval is “determined” to be ready for Opening Day

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Pablo Sandoval felt some lingering soreness in his right elbow while attempting to play catch on Saturday, but he still hasn’t given up hope of being ready for Opening Day.

According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Sandoval felt much better today and will attempt to throw again in a couple of days. While he’ll have to make quick progress, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that the third baseman is “determined” to be in the starting lineup when the Giants begin their season against the Dodgers one week from today.

Sandoval hasn’t appeared in a Cactus League game since March 16 due to a bone spur and an irritated ulnar nerve in his elbow. If he needs more time to get ready for the season, the Giants would go with Joaquin Arias to fill in at third base.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.