#Cubs name Arrieta Opening Day starter
Joe Maddon made the easiest decision he’ll likely have this spring on Tuesday when he announced that Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta will be the Cubs’ Opening Day starter.
Arrieta, who went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA last season, will kick off the Cubs’ 2016 season by starting April 4 against the Angels in Anaheim. This will be the right-hander’s second Opening Day start as he also did so in 2012 with the Orioles.
“He’s very excited about it,” Maddon said Tuesday. “He’s earned that right to be named the Opening Day starter. If you’re a starting pitcher, it really carries a lot of prestige along with it. He’s earned it and we’re very pleased to be able to announce that.”
Jon Lester and John Lackey will fill two of the other spots in the Cubs rotation but Maddon wanted to talk to pitching coach Chris Bosio as far as the order goes. The rest of the rotation is still to be determined. Jason Hammel, Kyle Hendricks, Travis Wood and Adam Warren are among the candidates.
Arrieta will be at least the fifth Major League pitcher who has made multiple Opening Day starts and won a Cy Young before being named an All-Star, joining John Denny, LaMarr Hoyt, Pete Vuckovich and Doug Drabek. Corey Kluber also could join that list this year; he won the American League Cy Young in 2014 and could be the Indians’ Opening Day starter but has never been an All-Star.
Lester made his fifth career Opening Day start and first with the Cubs last season, and took the loss against the Cardinals.
— Carrie Muskat