Three teams named obvious Opening Day starters at the start of spring training. Padres manager Andy Green tabbed Tyson Ross on Friday, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. New Mariners manager Scott Servais gave the honor to Felix Hernandez, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. And MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros manager A.J. Hinch named defending American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel as the club’s Opening Day starter.
James Shields could’ve been given the ball on Opening Day for the Padres, given his status as a veteran, but Ross has been the better pitcher over the last three seasons. The other two were no-brainers.
The only other teams to officially name Opening Day starters for the 2016 season are the Tigers (link), Giants (link), and Diamondbacks (link) with Justin Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke, respectively.