PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres have set their starting rotation for the first series of the season, as manager Bud Black announced Saturday that Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross will follow Andrew Cashner to the mound in the series against the Dodgers that begins March 30.
Earlier in the week, Black named Cashner as the starter for Opening Night against the Dodgers at Petco Park. After a Monday off-day, Kennedy will pitch the second game of the season April 1 with the final start going to Ross on April 2.
Originally, this meant that Josh Johnson would have been in line to start the first game of the team's three-game series against the Marlins on April 4, but Black announced after Saturday's 3-3 tie with the White Sox that Johnson will miss four to five weeks with a flexor strain in his right forearm. Johnson played parts of eight seasons with the Marlins (2005-12) and led the National League in ERA (2.30) in 2010.
Eric Stults, the team's No. 5 starter, figures to start one of the first two games vs. the Marlins. Right-handers Matt Wisler and Donn Roach and left-hander Robbie Erlin are in contention to fill out the rotation in Johnson's absence.