The 28 year old Ross gets the honor over James Shields and Andrew Cashner. In Ross' 2014 breakout season he started 31 games while posting a 2.81 ERA. He also struck out 195 in 195.2 innings pitched and was named an all star. Ross followed this performance by starting a league leading 33 games last year. While his ERA rose to a still respectable 3.26, he also increased his strikeout rate by fanning 212 in 196 innings.
Ross has been the subject of trade rumors for the past year and those talks should only increase as he has just two years left until free agency. Despite recent big name additions (Craig Kimbrel, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, James Shields) the Padres have not been able to reach .500 since 2010. Below are their records from the past five seasons:
I have no reason to believe that the 2016 Padres will be any better than the 2015 edition. If the season does start poorly they will have to start thinking about rebuilding. Trading Ross as early as this summer could accelerate that process. So while getting named the opening day starter is a big honor for Ross, it wouldn't surprise me if it were his last in San Diego.