Padres veterans Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer received some credit for the team’s decision to include shortstop prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. on its season-opening roster, but it was more of a front office-driven call, Dennis Lin of The Athletic writes (subscription required). While a report suggested Machado and Hosmer lobbied for Tatis’ promotion over dinner with Padres owner Ron Fowler, that meeting never took place, according to Fowler. “There was no dinner,” Fowler told Lin. “There was no request for a dinner.” Rather, Fowler revealed he and general manager A.J. Preller had been discussing elevating the 20-year-old Tatis “for quite some time.” The move may cost the Padres a year of control over the standout prospect, though Preller was nevertheless insistent upon placing him in their season-opening lineup. “We talked about it, and frankly it was his decision,” Fowler said. “There are ramifications in terms of control and all those things, but based upon his input, based upon his feeling that that would be our strongest team, he made the recommendation to do it, and we agreed with it. So, it was totally coming from A.J., coming from baseball ops.” To this point, the Padres have not discussed a contract extension with Tatis, per Lin, who adds that could change if he acquits himself well early in his major league career. Tatis has done exactly that so far, having collected three hits and a walk in his first seven plate appearances.
The latest on a couple of San Diego’s division rivals…
- At the beginning of the offseason, the Diamondbacks issued center fielder A.J. Pollock a one-year, $17.9MM qualifying offer as he geared up for a trip to free agency. Although Pollock went on to reject the offer and sign with the NL West rival Dodgers for a four-year, $60MM guarantee, he told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic this week that he nearly accepted the D-backs’ QO. “That was a really tough decision on my part,” Pollock said. “It seemed like a great option. I was 100 percent thinking about it.” Pollock added that he and the Diamondbacks didn’t engage in any substantive talks once he turned down the offer, paving the way for him to leave the franchise he had been a part of since it used a first-round pick on him in 2009. So far in his Dodgers tenure, Pollock has torched the Diamondbacks in a pair of head-to-head matchups, having gone 4-for-9 with a home run and two walks.
- Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy, the team’s big-ticket offseason acquisition, suffered a left index finger injury Friday that required X-rays, Thomas Harding of MLB.com was among those to report. There’s no word yet on the severity of the issue, though it did keep Murphy out of the Rockies’ lineup for their game against the Marlins on Saturday. Ryan McMahon took the reins at first in his stead. Murphy, 33, climbed aboard the Rockies on a two-year, $24MM contract in free agency after a few strong seasons divided among the Mets, Nationals and Cubs.
- Back to the Diamondbacks, who don’t expect to return Jake Lamb to third base in the near future, Piecoro relays. The 28-year-old Lamb played third almost exclusively from 2014-18, but the departure of Paul Goldschmidt and the free-agent signing of Eduardo Escobar spurred the club to shift him to first. Regardless of where he lines up, this is a pivotal season for the 28-year-old Lamb, a valuable Diamondback from 2016-17 who fell to earth last season. The lefty-hitting Lamb’s now in his penultimate season of arbitration control.