Today the Astros announced that Brett Myers, not Wandy Rodriguez, will start on Opening Day against Roy Halladay and the Phillies.
Myers is coming off a career-year that saw him post a 3.14 ERA and 180/66 K/BB ratio in 224 innings to earn a two-year, $23 million contract extension, but Rodriguez was also plenty effective with a 3.60 ERA and 178/68 K/BB ratio in 195 innings last year.
Rodriguez is also by far the longest-tenured member of the Astros’ rotation, starting at least 20 games every year since 2005, and was the Game 2 starter behind Opening Day ace Roy Oswalt both last season and in 2009 (when he had a 3.02 ERA and 193 strikeouts in 206 innings).
Of course, Rodriguez is currently dealing with mild tendinitis in his shoulder and ultimately everyone in the rotation is going to start 32-34 times if they stay healthy regardless of who gets the Opening Day nod. No big deal either way, but a somewhat interesting call nonetheless.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.