For the first time since 2007 someone other than Justin Verlander will make the Opening Day start for the Tigers, as manager Brad Ausmus announced that David Price will get the Game 1 assignment.
Verlander struggled last season, allowing the most earned runs in the league, and there’s little doubt that Price–who made three Opening Day starts for the Rays–projects to be the better pitcher this year. Or as Ausmus put it: “I have to make a decision based on baseball and what’s best for the 2015 Tigers.”
Of course, the Tigers previously stuck with Verlander as the Opening Day starter even when they had the reigning Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, in the rotation alongside him. Who’s the last non-Verlander pitcher to start for the Tigers on Opening Day? Jeremy Bonderman in 2007.