If you guessed the Padres' 25-man Opening Day roster, you probably have Virginia Commonwealth and Butler in your Final Four bracket.
All will be Padres when the season starts Thursday afternoon in St. Louis.
Neshek and Gonzalez were not even with the Padres through most of spring training. And Hunter and Deduno were deemed not ready for the major leagues and were dispatched to the Padres' minor league camp last week only to be recalled because of injuries.
The Padres will open the season with six players on the disabled list.
Most notable will be projected Opening Day starter Mat Latos, who has bursitis in his right shoulder and will miss at least one start. He could be activated by April 7, which would be the Padres' second home game and only the fifth game of the season. Latos is scheduled to throw in St. Louis over the weekend.
Deduno opens the season as the long man in the bullpen because Dustin Moseley will be in the rotation in place of Latos.
Hunter makes the Opening Day roster because center fielder Cameron Maybin has a sore thigh and the Padres' reserve center fielder, Eric Patterson, will open the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Also opening the season on the 15-day disabled list will be left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher (shoulder strain), first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks (rehabbing from elbow-reconstruction surgery) and utility infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir (quadriceps strain). Outfielder Mike Baxter will be on the 60-day disabled list following surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb.
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