As speculated last week by Troy Renck of the Denver Post and then confirmed Wednesday, left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will start for the Rockies on Opening Day, March 31, against the Marlins. It’s the beginning of a four-game series at Marlins Park.
Jhoulys Chacin would have been given the honor, but he suffered a right shoulder strain near the end of February and is expected to begin the 2014 regular season with a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
This will be the first Opening Day start for De La Rosa, who posted a career-best 3.49 ERA (127 ERA+) in 167 2/3 innings last season for Colorado.
He is currently scheduled to become a free agent five days after the 2014 World Series.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.