Tim Wakefield: “I definitely want to come back next year”

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This season has been a struggle for Tim Wakefield, who has a 5.12 ERA in 155 innings and went eight starts between his 199th and 200th career wins, but the 45-year-old knuckleballer told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that he wants to play a 20th season in 2012:

I’ve definitely made up my mind that I definitely want to come back next year. I have another goal in front of me that I’d like to accomplish, and that’s the all-time record for the Red Sox in wins. I’m only seven away. I think the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that record. We’ll see what happens.

Wakefield might be overestimating the fans’ interest in him securing the Red Sox’s wins record, or at least relative to the number of fans who want a starter with a sub-5.00 ERA. Dating back to last season Wakefield is 11-18 with a 5.22 ERA in 295 innings, but for $1 million or so the Red Sox may decide he’s worth bringing back to eat innings again.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.