Tucson Padres: Triple-A club ready for opening night

2013-04-12T00:00:00Z Tucson Padres: Triple-A club ready for opening nightDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Triple-A season isn't 10 days old and the Tucson Padres have already dealt with their fair share of adversity.

Opening the season with an eight-game road trip, the Padres have had two games postponed because of snow, have had to play a doubleheader and have experienced a three-game losing streak.

None of it seems to have fazed manager Pat Murphy.

"It's all part of the game," Murphy said. "It's a great experience for us. If we're going to deal with things, we might as well deal with them early. We have had a couple of things not go our way, but guess what? It's all part of it."

The Padres return to Kino Stadium tonight for their home opener, with first pitch set for 7:05. Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan will get the start.

Here are three things to know about the 2013 edition of the Padres as they enter their first homestand of the season.

1. O'Sullivan is a good opening day starter.

The veteran, who first appeared in the big leagues in 2010, had a solid first start for the Padres in Salt Lake City, going five innings, giving up just two hits and one run in a no-decision.

He throws a fastball, slider, changeup and curveball.

"He's a special kid," Murphy said. "It's a matter of time before he's in the big league and hopefully with the Padres. He gets it. He comes to work everyday and gets after it."

O'Sullivan made 10 starts for the Kansas City Royals in 2011 and hasn't been back in the major leagues since. The San Diego native is hopeful he can make it back with his hometown team.

2. The guy that follows him is pretty good too.

Lefty Robbie Erlin will follow O'Sullivan and start Saturday night's game. Erlin is considered a top prospect, but won't have an easy season pitching in the Pacific Coast League for the first time in his career.

"I'll probably take some lumps, but I just have to continue to develop on the mound," Erlin said. "It'll be a learning process."

Erlin already had his first lump, giving up six hits and three runs in 3 1/3 innings in his season debut at Salt Lake City.

3. The lineup is younger, but has some pop.

The Padres hit six home runs in their first six games and have an intriguing lineup. One of the few veterans in the lineup, Travis Buck, knocked in seven runs in the first six games and has his average well over .300.

Other than Buck, the Padres have a lot of young hitters trying to learn on the fly.

"We're going to have to be a scrappy team," Murphy said. "We're younger than the teams playing and a little less experienced.

"We have to be scrappy."

Outfielder Daniel Robertson, first baseman Kyle Blanks and shortstop Gregorio Petit will be Murphy's go-to guys.

Today

• What: Fresno at Tucson Padres, home opener

• Where: Kino Stadium

• When: 7:05 p.m.

• Radio: 1290-AM

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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