Padres distribute meals to healthcare workers

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SAN DIEGO — On what would have been Opening Day, the Padres made an impact off the field in San Diego on Thursday afternoon.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has pushed back the start of the baseball season, the Padres partnered with local restaurant Phil's BBQ to provide meals for healthcare workers.

In recognition of Opening Day and as a symbol of solidarity, the @Padres partnered with @PhilsBBQSD to provide lunch to our staff. We're grateful for their support and partnership. Let's all play our part so we can get back to cheering for the Padres soon! #OpeningDayAtHome pic.twitter.com/OQoi4tfuWs

— UC San Diego Health (@UCSDHealth) March 26, 2020

Those meals were distributed to workers at UCSD Health in Hillcrest and the San Diego Blood Bank around lunchtime — when the team's season opener against the Rockies was originally scheduled.

The Padres ownership group also released a letter signed by executive chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler, calling for vigilance in fighting the disease and a resolve that baseball will eventually play an important part in the healing process.

"Through the years, MLB has played a key role in helping our country overcome adversity and heal,” the letter read. β€œWe look forward to playing that role once again. We will look for additional opportunities to support our community in the coming days."

A message to our loyal fans 🀎 pic.twitter.com/PGVXDnQ73K

— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 26, 2020

At 1:10 p.m. PT (Thursday's originally scheduled first-pitch time) the Padres played "God Bless America" before an empty Petco Park — "a symbol of solidarity with our resilient country and all of you during this time of crisis," Fowler and Seidler wrote.

The Padres volunteer team has also partnered with local organization Computer 2 Kids to help distribute computers, laptops, keyboards and other essential equipment to families in need, with many schools closing and going online.

Paddack surprises young fan

In all likelihood, Chris Paddack would've been pitching on Opening Day. The Padres right-hander didn't get that chance, but he still managed to make one fan's day.

Sawyer, a die-hard Padres fan, had planned on celebrating his 10th birthday at Petco Park on Thursday.

Paddack left Sawyer a message, relayed through the Padres Twitter account. You can watch it here:

Hey, Sawyer! πŸ‘‹

We heard today is your birthday and you were planning to spend it at #SDOpeningDay, so here’s a special message just for you… πŸŽ‚ pic.twitter.com/oZBMoaZ5PR

— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 26, 2020

Quiroz sent to Tampa Bay

Esteban Quiroz, who had been ranked as the Padres' No. 23 prospect, was sent to Tampa Bay on Thursday as the player to be named in the Tommy Pham deal. All pieces of that trade are now complete, with Pham and Jake Cronenworth arriving in San Diego in exchange for Hunter Renfroe, Xavier Edwards and Quiroz.

A bat-first infielder, Quiroz batted .271/.384/.539 at Triple-A El Paso last season while playing primarily second base.

With Quiroz off the board, right-hander Lake Bachar slid into the Padres' top prospects list at No. 30.

Source: mlb.com

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