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The Opener: Padres, Tigers, Hitting Streaks


As the 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1. Padres broadcast rights revert to MLB:

Following last night’s decision by Diamond Sports Group to allow their rights to broadcasting Padres games to lapse, MLB has taken over broadcasting Padres games for the foreseeable future. In-market Padres fans can find games on MLB.TV for free through this coming Sunday, after which point they’ll be available for a $19.99 monthly fee or $74.99 for the rest of the season. Games are also expected to be made available in-market on alternative cable platforms.

The distribution change comes in the midst of what has been a difficult season for the Padres. Despite setting lofty expectations that left fans dreaming on surpassing the Dodgers as the top dog in the NL West, the group of assembled stars in San Diego have largely struggled to live up to expectations, with only Juan Soto and Josh Hader producing at their typical All Star-caliber levels. This, combined with a rotation that has only gotten consistent and healthy performance from veteran right-hander Michael Wacha, has left the Padres to struggle to a 25-29 record, fourth-best in the division and with five teams standing between them an NL Wild Card berth.

2. Tigers roster move(s) coming:

The Tigers acquired veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick from the White Sox yesterday and plan to select him to the roster ahead of this afternoon’s game against the Rangers. A corresponding move will be necessary to make room for Marisnick on both the active and 40-man rosters. A quality outfield defender and baserunner, Marisnick spent much of his career as a member of the Astros but has also played for the Marlins, Mets, Cubs, Padres, Pirates, and White Sox in his 11-season career prior to landing with the Tigers.

The Tigers planned to select Marisnick even before center fielder Riley Greene departed yesterday’s game with discomfort in his left leg, but that injury could potentially clear an active roster spot depending on its severity. Any missed time for Greene would sting, as the former top prospect has broken out in the early going this season with a.296/.362/.463 batting line (127 wRC+), solid center field defense, five home runs and six steals (without being caught).

3. Freeman, Semien look to extend hitting streaks to 20 games:

A pair of veteran stars are looking to extend hitting streaks to 20 games for the top clubs in the West divisions. In the NL, superstar first baseman Freddie Freeman has slashed an unbelievable .455/.522/.831 with five home runs and 12 doubles during the hitting streak, lifting his season-long production to an NL-leading 169 wRC+. Semien’s heroics haven’t quite reached that Herculean level over in the AL, though the infielder has still slashed a strong .313/.344/.530 during his own hitting streak. Looking at Semien’s season as a whole, his strong offense combined with stellar defense at second base has allowed him to accumulate 2.5 fWAR — sixth-best in the majors and top three in the junior circuit. Freeman will look for a hit in his 20th consecutive game against the Nationals at 3:10pm CT this afternoon, while Semien will do the same against the Tigers at 12:10pm CT.

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