SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter finally revealed the identity of his opening day starter this afternoon.
Yes, it’s Jake Arrieta who will take the mound for the April 6 opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. That’s been the assumption all along, but Showalter planted some doubt by withholding the announcement.
Arrieta made his final spring start on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings. OK, so he’s not exactly leaving Florida on a high note.
Arrieta was 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA in four exhibition games, with 10 earned runs (11 total) and 17 hits in 14 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out 12.
His two worst outings were against the Pirates. Back on March 14, he allowed four runs in the second inning and left after 2 2/3.
Arrieta also recorded 16 outs in a minor league game on March 19 to build up his innings and pitch count.
Tommy Hunter was the other candidate to start the opener, but Showalter chose the former fifth-round draft pick who went 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts last season before undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.
Hunter actually would have been working on normal rest after throwing six innings yesterday in a minor league intrasquad game.