Dodgers start 2016 season in San Diego

Listen to this article

It’s opening day of the 2016 Major League Baseball season. The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their campaign down south of here at Petco Park in San Diego, home of the Padres.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers at Spring Training, led by Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (Claudia Gestro)
Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers at Spring Training, led by Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (Claudia Gestro)

Starting on the mound for the Dodgers will be Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. For the Padres it will be Tyson Ross.

Last year the two teams began the season at Dodger Stadium, so it feels about right they do it again at Petco Park.

Everyone expects the Dodgers to be at the top of the National League West Division once again, although they will once again get a strong challenge from the San Francisco Giants. This year that challenge might even be stronger.

The Dodgers have a new manager, Dave Roberts, and from the reports we received during Spring Training from our reporter Claudia Gestro, Roberts is having a positive impact on the team.

There will be some new faces in the Dodgers roster, most notably Kenta Maeda, the new pitcher from Japan, and Trayce Thompson, whose brother Klay Thompson will be starting with the Golden State Warriors when the NBA playoffs get under way later this month.

  • Kenta Maeda
    Kenta Maeda

    Claudia will be covering the NBA Playoffs and Finals once again.

Ross Stripling is a new starting pitcher for the Dodgers and he will throw his first major league pitch when he takes the mound on Friday against the Giants.

The Dodgers will have some of the familiar faces the fans have grown to admire in recent years, beginning with Kershaw, but also Catchers Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who spent many years with the Padres, Outfielders Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier, who is out for with a slightly fractured right tibia.

Justin Turner will be back at third, Chase Utley at second and Corey Seager at shortstop once again.

The starting rotation has one big missing piece: Zack Greinke, who became a free agent and went to the Arizona Diamondbacks. They instantly got better the day he signed with the club.

Leading the Dodgers rotation will be Kershaw, followed by Scott Kazmir, Maeda, Alex Wood and Stripling.

Andy Green is the new manager in San Diego and his starting team includes Jon Jay in center field, Melvin Upton, Jr. in left and Matt Kemp in third. It was big news in December 2014 when the Dodgers traded Kemp to the Padres and the Friars expect Kemp to make big contributions defensively and at the plate. They have a very good outfield this year.

Matt Kemp of the San Diego Padres
Matt Kemp of the San Diego Padres

Alexei Ramirez will be at shortstop, Yangervis Solarte at third, Wil Myers at first and Derek Norris catching. Myers moved from the outfield to first and it looks like he will play both positions throughout the season.

Their starting rotation begins with James Shields, followed by Ross, Andrew Cashner, Robbie Erlin and Drew Pomeranz.

It will be a beautiful day for the start of baseball in Southern California. Game time is at 4 p.m.

If you’re going to the game it is suggested you park away from downtown and take the trolley to Petco Park.

Claudia Gestro contributed to this article, including all photos and the videos below.