James Shields has started Game 1 for the Rays for the past two seasons and manager Joe Maddon just announced that he’ll get the Opening Day nod again this year:
We feel very good about him being the opening day starter. We feel as though he’s earned the right to maintain that position. He was very excited and very grateful about it.
Scott Kazmir got the Game 2 call last season, but he’s with the Angels now and instead Matt Garza will follow Shields in the rotation. Maddon added that David Price and Jeff Niemann will start Games 3 and 4, but he hasn’t decided on the order yet. Niemann actually led the Rays in wins as a rookie with 13, posting a 3.94 ERA in 180.2 innings.
Wade Davis and Andy Sonnanstine are fighting for the final rotation spot, with Sonnanstine having the big edge in experience and Davis possessing significantly more upside.