Alex Rodriguez has almost no defenders. Heck, the closest thing he has to any defenders are people like me who defend the process, but that’s pretty cold comfort. Thank goodness, then, that Roger Clemens has his back. Kinda:
“A-Rod was my teammate in New York,” the poster boy for the Mitchell Report on baseball and steroids told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I’m glad he was my teammate. I did things to make him feel comfortable. I did that for all of my teammates. I think I was a pretty solid teammate.”
OK, that was really an endorsement of Roger Clemens: super teammate as opposed to an endorsement of A-Rod.
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.