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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who Will Be Milwaukee's Opening Day Starter?

Yovani Gallardo makes his 2011 debut today as the Brewers host the Cubs in Cactus League play. The question persists as to whether the Brewers' 2010 opening day starter will stand as such in 2011 after the arrival of Cy Young winner Zack Greinke. Shaun Marcum started on opening day for the Blue Jays last year but he's widely expected to start the Brewers home opener vs the Braves and he's said that he's ok with flying under the radar. Ron Roenicke remains mute on the subject, not yet wishing to tip his hand. So who, in the end, will be the opening day starter?

Valid reasons exist for Roenicke to pick either man for the honor. Gallardo stands as the sole homegrown pitcher in the Brewers rotation and he's performed admirably these past two seasons after the moniker of staff ace fell upon him with the departures of Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia. He dealt with the pressure that comes with that title and put together consecutive 200 strikeout seasons. There's certainly something to be said about sticking with Gallardo, considering one way to view picking Greinke is a Gallardo demotion.

Greinke, on the other hand, now widely recognized as the ace of the staff even after a slightly off year in 2010, seems to have become the face of the club overnight thanks to Brewers marketing campaigns. Greinke should fare better against opposing ace pitchers and it's hard to argue that the team's Cy Young Award winner should not start on opening day. If Greinke pitches on normal rest for the remainder of Spring Training he'll line up perfectly to start in Cincinnati on opening day, so he'll likely be Roenicke's choice. Still, only Roenicke knows for sure who he'll pick, and as Greinke said yesterday, "It's not like anyone's going to cry if they don't get it."

1 comment:

  1. Lineup for Brewers vs Cubs today at 2:05:

    Craig Counsell 2B
    Luis Cruz SS
    Ryan Braun LF
    Prince Fielder 1B
    Casey McGehee 3B
    George Kottaras C
    Chris Dickerson CF
    Brandon Boggs RF
    Erick Almonte DH

    Yovani Gallardo RHP