The Toronto Blue Jays have named J.A. Happ their Opening Day starter. He’ll face off against Luis Severino and the New York Yankees on March 29 in Toronto.
Based on last season’s stats you’d assume Marcus Stroman would get the Opening Day assignment, but he has been slowed by a right shoulder inflammation this spring. He’ll get three extra days rest to start the season and start the finale of the four-game series against the Yankees. After Happ will come Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada. Jaime Garcia will be the fifth starter.
Happ, 35, is entering the final year of a three-year, $36 million deal. He went 10-11 with a 3.53 ERA in 25 starts last season.
Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed on Sunday, to KMOX/1120 AM and StlToday.com, that pitcher Carlos Martínez underwent a “small procedure” to address discomfort in his right shoulder and encourage healing as well as a platelet-rich plasma injection.
Martínez, 28, began experiencing shoulder issues in 2018 which impacted his ability to pitch deep into games. Upon his return from the injured list in late August that year, the club moved him into the bullpen. He remained in the bullpen for 2019, making his season debut in May, and had a successful year, racking up 24 saves with a 3.17 ERA and a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings.
Martínez wants to start again and the Cardinals have said they will afford him the opportunity. He is expected to be on track to participate in spring training as usual.