Jim Leyland has joined the early Opening Day starter announcement fun, saying that he’ll go with Justin Verlander in Game 1 for the fourth consecutive year.
Leyland added that Max Scherzer will start Game 3 in order to line him up for the Tigers’ home opener, but didn’t say who’ll be getting the nod in Game 2. Rick Porcello, Phil Coke, and Brad Penny are expected to fill out the rest of the rotation.
Verlander, who’ll kick things off against the Yankees in New York on March 31, got a no-decision against the Royals on Opening Day last season while allowing four runs in five innings.
MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell reports that earlier this month, Mark McGwire informed the Padres he would be stepping down from his role as the club’s bench coach. McGwire took the job in December 2015. McGwire stepped down because he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The Padres now have three coaching vacancies. Along with McGwire, manager Andy Green will have to replace hitting coach Matt Stairs and infielders coach Josh Jonson as well.
Though no fault of McGwire’s, the Padres have gone 205-281 (.422) over the last three years, peaking at 71 wins in 2017. The Padres, in fact, haven’t had a winning season since 2010 when they went 90-72.