#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

7 Comments

This makes perfect sense. The Dodgers named Clayton Kershaw their opening day hurler recently, and I reckon this will mark his sixth straight opening day start for that organization. Keep in mind the MLB Network recently ranked Clayton and Jake the two most highly regarded pitchers in the game, and in that order. Both these decisions are going `according to Hoyle,` if you like. But major league baseball is unpredictable, and it`s a principal reason we love the game. It is the things that will transpire in the 2016 season that we do not foresee, or cannot now envision, that make the game compelling, and you know we are going to see those revelations come to pass, because they always do.

Aloha jhosk! Hope you are warming up in your location! We are due to get some more rain this coming weekend! My hope is that Jake with his conditioning program and the Cubs coaching staff, will have the type of career that Kershaw has had thus far. Some pitchers it takes a while to come into their own. You and I have chatted a lot about one of the greatest pitchers ever and still considered the greatest 5yr stint in baseball, Sandy Koufax. My father loved to share stories with me how he could throw bullets but could not hit the side of a barn that was right in front of him, then that all changed. You have to wonder with today’s medical advances and conditioning, could Koufax have pitched another 5-7yrs as he was only 30 when he had to retire. I think Jake can become a great pitcher. He has many “pitches” to chose from. Now, he needs to think about setting up his pitches even more because eventually, batters will catch up to the fastballs. I said in an earlier comment that this year if he stays healthy, gets 30+ starts, wins 18+ games and has an ERA at 2.70 or lower, you have to call that a successful 2016. His 1.77 ERA was like Koufax and it would be a lot of pressure to expect him to produce a second straight year like that. But if he stays at 2.70 and below that is awesome. I like many of the signings of this past off-season. One of my favorites was the Lackey signing. That was huge and for a younger pitcher like Hendricks to have him around is a big plus. I would have been happy with just Lackey and Zorbrist and the trade for Warren from the Yankees. Even if they did not get Heyward but brought back Fowler and gave invites to Murton and Victorino, this team just strengthened itself immensely. Lackey really started it off and I feel went under the radar. The media and all the other teams were caught up in the Price/Grienke/Zimmerman/Shark stories and here the Cubs take away a key pitcher from their rivals who still has a lot to give. Hope you are doing well. I took a leap of faith and purchased tickets for early September at Wrigley. Not sure if you, Jasper, Doug, Petrey, Bruce, Kenly, White will be around. But if so, we could all share a fruit punch. And if Victorino is with the team, maybe he’ll join us for a Hawaiian lunch (I know a place)! Take care now. Mahalo!

I accept your invite, sir, and am willing to `extend an olive branch` to all those individuals you named whom I`ve had issues with in the past, and I absolutely mean each and every one of you. Would love to meet y`all. {Did y`all hear that Chapman is going to be suspended for 30 games, and it`s expected Puig will not be suspended, and that the University of Virginia men`s hoops are ranked No. 4 nationally?} Peace!

Aloha jhosk- good to hear from you. I thought about the Fowler situation. Not that I nor anyone said anything disparaging about him or his situation before the offer was made by the FO and he accepted. I know many of us have gone back and forth on Carrie’s blog. I try hard but am not perfect myself to spread the “Aloha Spirit.” In looking at the Fowler signing I who am into second chances/change of mind felt like if there is one thing all the folks I named above do have in common, it is that we all love the Cubs and want the best for the organization. We may not agree 100% on how to get there but we are avid fans nonetheless. That is where I was coming from. Well my father will be sad that his Yankees will not be able to use their 100mph+ arm until almost a fifth of the season is underway. I am myself glued to what Carrie and others are reporting because yes, this will be an exciting ST but I also feel for those that do not make the 25 man roster; I know it is what it is. Just amazed at the folks that this organization has put together to come to ST. Have not seen a bunch of talented folks like this all in the same place in a long time. You take care now too. Mahalo!

Very nice invite K.g. My games scheduled thus far are, March 11th Mesa, April 1st Vegas, April 4th (Opening Day) Anaheim and April 5th also. Then to Phoenix for that series. Should get to see Arietta twice, unless they start out with a 6 man rotation.

Aloha jasper- I purchased a Giants game on May 20th vs our Cubbies. It is on a Friday, 7:15pm game. So, if you and your family are in town, we can get that Coke! I know Southern, CA is probably closer for you. The Giants should have a good team this year and I predicted to friends in the area that it could come down to a repeat of the 1989 NL Championship Series but this time, the Cubs will overcome! Take care now! Mahalo!

That would be exciting K.g. I would love to come to SF for a playoff game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: