There are few things that matter less over the course of a 162-game season than the Opening Day starter.
But it’s still a symbolic measure, the image of putting your best foot forward on the first day of the season, that matters to a lot of people.
The past few years, the Opening Day starter has gone on to have a bit of a disappointing season — last year’s Opening Day starter, Jhoulys Chacin, didn’t even make it through the season before getting designated for assignment.
As much as we joke about the Opening Day Curse and how Craig Counsell should just trot out someone like Brett Anderson or Alex Claudio to be the sacrificial lamb to appease the Opening Day gods, Brandon Woodruff still seems to be the odds-on favorite to take the ball first on March 26th, based on his breakout performance last season.
Still, Counsell is hesitant to make that official — not because of the fear of a jinx, but because the team’s schedule, which includes an off day immediately following Opening Day, could allow Counsell to get creative with his pitching in the first game of 19 important showdowns against the Chicago Cubs.
Adam McCalvy has Counsell’s explanation:
“Look, I’m not trying to keep a secret here. Things happen. If something happens that makes us consider alternative scenarios, the fact is we do have a day to play with. That’s part of how we have operated and how we have to operate. It’s one reason that you keep it in the bag for a while.”
As McCalvy notes in his, well, notes, that “something” could include any injuries that would mess up the current thinking on rotation order.
Woodruff is scheduled to make his next appearance on Tuesday, which would — in theory — keep him in line to start Opening Day.
Who should the Brewers’ 2020 Opening Day starter be?
This poll is closed
Literally anyone but Brandon Woodruff to avoid the curse