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Friday, March 11, 2011

Gallardo to Start Opening Day in Cincinnati

Yesterday Ron Roenicke announced his plans to line up the Brewers starters (sans Zack Greinke) to open the season. For the second consecutive year Yovani Gallardo gets the nod on opening day. He'll face off against Reds ace Edinson Volquez in Cincinnati on March 31. Said Gallardo: "It's very exciting for me, and it just gives me that opportunity to go out there and show what I'm capable of doing."

Roenicke said that Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson would follow Gallardo, in that order. That means Narveson will start vs the Braves in the Brewers home opener on April 4. Narveson called his selection for that game "a nice honor." Many Brewers fans might have liked to see Shaun Marcum start the home opener, since his acquisition played a  role in the offseason buzz surrounding the Crew. Having put together an excellent second half last year and continuing to do well this spring, Narveson deserves to start on April 4 as much as anyone.

Lining up his starters this way also means Roenicke chose not to split up his two lefties, as had been speculated. "They're different-type lefties, so it's not like you're throwing the same prototype out there again," he said.

If Roenicke keeps Gallardo on regular rest during April, off-days mean a fifth starter will only be needed on April 6, 16, and 26. He said that Mark Rogers remains a candidate for that fifth spot, and Rogers has vowed to ready himself to start in April. Manny Parra, meanwhile, just hopes to be ready to pitch once the regular season begins. Both have been set back by minor injuries, and Parra's back tightness seems to be lingering.

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