I’m sure you haven’t heard enough Opening Day starter talk for one day, so here’s another one: Baltimore will go with Jeremy Guthrie in Game 1, followed in the rotation by Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen, and Jake Arrieta.
Because the Orioles may not need a fifth starter for the first several weeks they could carry an extra reliever rather than a full rotation initially. Once they do need a No. 5 guy, Chris Tillman and Zach Britton will likely be in the mix.
Kevin Millwood got the Opening Day start last season and went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA, so it’s not a particularly tough act for Guthrie to follow, although he actually had a Millwood-like 2009 before bouncing back with a 3.83 ERA in 209 innings last year.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.