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Know Your Foe: Rockies travel to Petco Park, face struggling San Diego Padres

The Rockies will make their first visit to Petco Park in 2015 to face a Padres team coming off a sweep at the hand of the Houston Astros.

Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Both the Rockies and Padres will be looking to right the ship this weekend as they meet for the second time in 2014, the first in San Diego.

The Padres were swept at home in a three-game series by the Astros earlier this week, while the Rockies dropped two of three in Arizona. The two teams split a four-game series at Coors Field last week, with San Diego taking the first two games and the Rockies winning the last two to earn the split.

Hitters to watch

Somewhat lost in the hype of the Padres' rebuilding in the offseason was their acquisition of All-Star catcher Derek Norris from Oakland. Norris is off to a fast start in 2015, hitting .313/.329/.463 with nine doubles and a home run. He has walked just twice while striking out 13 times.

Also off to a hot start is one of the few incumbents in the Padres lineup, first baeman Yonder Alonso. Alonso is hitting .315/.400/.411 and is one of the few Padres regulars walking on a regular basis, with 10 free passes issued to him in 85 plate appearances this season.

On the opposite end of the spectrum for the Padres is second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who has struggled mightily to start 2015, hitting just .135/.211/.173 in his team's first 23 games. To put that in perspective, Tyler Matzek hit .184/.225/.211 last season, and he's a pitcher.

2015 hitting stats

Name G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Wil Myers 23 101 4 21 15 3 2.0% 19.8% .194 .324 .286 .307 .480 .342 122 0.0 2.6 -5.4 0.0
Matt Kemp 23 98 1 16 16 4 5.1% 17.3% .152 .387 .326 .357 .478 .363 136 -0.1 4.0 -3.5 0.4
Justin Upton 22 87 6 14 14 1 5.7% 26.4% .284 .283 .259 .299 .543 .356 131 0.3 3.5 -3.5 0.3
Yonder Alonso 21 85 1 8 8 2 11.8% 12.9% .096 .355 .315 .400 .411 .355 130 -1.2 1.9 -1.4 0.3
Will Middlebrooks 23 85 3 9 11 2 4.7% 22.4% .173 .254 .222 .259 .395 .286 85 0.9 -0.7 0.7 0.3
Derek Norris 22 82 1 11 11 0 2.4% 15.9% .150 .364 .313 .329 .463 .345 124 -0.5 1.8 3.5 0.8
Alexi Amarista 19 62 1 5 2 0 16.1% 17.7% .115 .250 .212 .339 .327 .294 90 0.2 -0.6 2.8 0.4
Yangervis Solarte 21 62 2 5 12 0 9.7% 6.5% .179 .320 .321 .387 .500 .389 153 -0.5 3.5 -2.0 0.4
Jedd Gyorko 16 57 0 2 3 0 7.0% 21.1% .038 .175 .135 .211 .173 .184 17 -0.9 -6.5 -1.9 -0.7
Clint Barmes 12 29 1 6 1 0 6.9% 27.6% .185 .389 .296 .345 .481 .362 135 -1.1 0.1 0.3 0.1
Will Venable 15 24 2 3 4 0 0.0% 41.7% .250 .167 .167 .167 .417 .249 60 0.2 -0.9 1.9 0.2
Cory Spangenberg 17 23 0 2 1 0 0.0% 30.4% .136 .333 .227 .227 .364 .255 64 -0.1 -1.1 -0.2 -0.1
Wil Nieves 6 14 1 1 4 0 7.1% 28.6% .231 .000 .077 .143 .308 .199 28 0.2 -1.0 -0.7 -0.1


Pitchers to watch

The Padres will start a trio of veteran right-handers this weekend against the Rockies. Getting the nod in the series opener is 30-year-old Ian Kennedy. Kennedy left his first start of the season in the third inning with a left hamstring strain and struggled against the Dodgers in his return Saturday, allowing eight runs on eight hits in 4⅓ innings. Kennedy has a 2.86 ERA in 110 career innings against the Rockies.

Brandon Morrow will get the start for San Diego in game two of the series. This will be Morrow's second start of the season against the Rockies, as he allowed five runs on six hits in six innings on April 21 at Coors Field in a 7-6 Padres win. He has allowed just three runs in 21 innings in his other three starts this year, all of which have come at Petco Park.

James Shields will start the series finale for the Padres on Sunday. Like Morrow, he did have a start in the series at Coors Field, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings in a Rockies win on April 22. Shields has a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings this season with nine walks and 41 strikeouts in his five starts.

2015 pitching stats

Name W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
James Shields 2 0 0 5 5 31 11.90 2.61 1.16 .301 76.4% 43.4% 13.8% 2.90 3.29 2.86 0.7
Andrew Cashner 1 4 0 5 5 31 10.45 2.32 1.45 .325 71.4% 49.4% 15.6% 2.61 3.93 3.21 0.3
Tyson Ross 1 2 0 5 5 27.2 12.04 5.86 0.98 .348 76.6% 55.6% 16.7% 4.55 3.99 3.44 0.2
Brandon Morrow 1 0 0 4 4 27 6.33 2.00 0.67 .270 79.4% 46.7% 9.5% 2.67 3.41 3.49 0.4
Odrisamer Despaigne 2 0 0 6 2 21.1 4.22 2.53 0.84 .159 75.6% 50.8% 11.1% 2.95 4.60 4.50 0.0
Joaquin Benoit 3 1 1 12 0 11 9.00 4.09 1.64 .231 78.4% 38.5% 18.2% 4.09 4.92 3.89 -0.1
Dale Thayer 0 0 0 9 0 10.1 2.61 2.61 0.87 .219 93.8% 48.5% 8.3% 1.74 4.74 5.03 -0.1
Brandon Maurer 1 0 0 9 0 10 5.40 3.60 0.90 .226 66.0% 45.2% 9.1% 4.50 4.49 4.66 0.0
Craig Kimbrel 0 1 6 10 0 8.2 10.38 4.15 1.04 .364 69.0% 43.5% 12.5% 5.19 3.77 3.50 0.1
Ian Kennedy 0 1 0 2 2 6.2 5.40 4.05 4.05 .333 61.2% 47.8% 50.0% 10.80 9.64 4.99 -0.3
Frank Garces 0 0 0 6 0 5.2 6.35 4.76 0.00 .278 87.5% 27.8% 0.0% 1.59 3.37 5.48 0.0
Shawn Kelley 0 2 0 6 0 5.1 10.13 8.44 1.69 .444 55.6% 16.7% 12.5% 10.13 6.19 5.75 -0.1
Kevin Quackenbush 0 0 0 3 0 3.2 7.36 4.91 0.00 .333 50.0% 66.7% 0.0% 4.91 3.19 3.56 0.0
Nick Vincent 0 1 0 3 0 3.1 8.10 2.70 0.00 .462 57.1% 23.1% 0.0% 5.40 2.29 4.29 0.1
Christopher Rearick 0 0 0 5 0 3 12.00 6.00 6.00 .500 76.9% 44.4% 66.7% 12.00 11.19 3.86 -0.2
Cory Mazzoni 0 0 0 2 0 2 4.50 9.00 4.50 .500 30.3% 36.4% 33.3% 27.00 11.69 7.19 -0.1


Probable starters

Game 1, 5/1: Eddie Butler vs. Ian Kennedy

Game 2, 5/2: Jorge De La Rosa vs. Brandon Morrow

Game 3, 5/3: Tyler Matzek vs. James Shields