Baltimore officially announced that right-hander Chris Tillman will start Opening Day, choosing him over Wei-Yin Chen and Bud Norris.
It was likely an easy call following back-to-back 200-inning seasons from Tillman, including a 3.34 ERA in 34 starts last year.
Tillman also started on Opening Day for the Orioles last season and he’ll be the first pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for Baltimore since Jeremy Guthrie in 2008-2009.
Texas’ pitching staff certainly needs plenty of help, but apparently not enough to keep 40-year-old Jamey Wright around after a rough spring in which he allowed 11 runs in eight appearances.
Wright’s late-career resurrgence has been remarkable considering he wasn’t all that good in his twenties. During the past four seasons–starting at age 36–he’s thrown 276 innings with a 3.58 ERA.
As a rubber-armed veteran who can soak up innings in middle or long relief Wright may still have a little value to some teams.
Jake Petricka, who was the White Sox’s closer for much of last season, will begin this year on the disabled list with forearm soreness.
Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that no structural damage was found and general manager Rick Hahn indicated that Petricka may be able to return from the DL as soon as his 15 days are up.
Petricka saved 14 games with a 2.96 ERA and 55/33 K/BB ratio in 73 innings last season and will slide back into a setup role thanks to the arrival of closer David Robertson via free agency.