David Price was expected to need three or four rehab starts, but after impressing everyone with a simulated game yesterday he’s apparently ahead of schedule. From MLB.com:
Maddon was so impressed with his ace that he said the plans for Price’s return would be accelerated.
“He’s actually exceeding expectations a little bit,” Maddon said. “I thought he could have pitched today in an actual game … He’s accelerated; there’s no question,” he added. “I just have to sit down and talk with everybody before I give you guys bad information. I just saw a guy who was a lot further along than we thought.”
He’ll still likely do a rehab assignment next week, but don’t be surprised if it only lasts one start.
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.