A’s interested in Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks

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Kyle Blanks hasn’t gotten much playing time since being called up from Triple-A by the Padres last week and now Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports that the A’s “have shown interest in trading for” the 27-year-old outfielder/first baseman.

Blanks was once a top prospect, but injuries have repeatedly derailed his career and now he’s a lifetime .228 hitter in 806 plate appearances. He does, however, have 28 homers and 71 walks in that action for a .712 OPS that’s pretty decent for someone calling Petco Park home, and if given a chance in a part-time role the right-handed hitting Blanks could certainly knock around left-handed pitching. And no one loves platooning more than the A’s.

Blanks is 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, and as a minor leaguer he put up some huge numbers while ranking among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects. In 141 total games at Triple-A he’s hit .295 with 33 homers and a .962 OPS.

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.