Being the Opening Day starter is a nice little honor to bestow on a pitcher. Especially on teams that don’t have an undisputed ace. It’s a manager’s way of saying “we have confidence in you.” Of saying “you’re The Man now, dog.” Or something like that.
The Mets have named theirs. It’s Mike Pelfrey who is pretty clearly the Mets’ best starter given the absence of Johan Santana. And how honored he is:
With Johan Santana expected to miss the first half of the season, New York Mets manager Terry Collins named Mike Pelfrey his Opening Day starter on Wednesday, during a charity event at Citi Field … Of course, that likely means Pelfrey draws Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson on April 1, thenPhiladelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay in Game 6 on April 7.
Halladay and Johnson right out of the gate. Thank, Skip!
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.