So much talk is wasted on who each team will start on Opening Day, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just one game out of 162. I don’t put very much stock in it. Obviously you want one of your best pitchers going that day, but reporters act like it’s this big story when it hits.
Some fans are surprised that Gerrit Cole wasn’t giving the nod for Opening Day, but it makes sense considering Cole hasn’t even pitched yet this spring. Cole has been slowed this month with rib inflammation and won’t make his debut till this Sunday. Going slow with his progression is the right move and he won’t fully be stretched out come early April. Meanwhile, Liriano has made a couple of outings already and looked to be in midseason form. Frankie posted a 3.38 ERA for the second consecutive season and made 31 starts for the Bucs in 2015.
Liriano will make his third straight Opening Day start for the Bucs, which is the first Pirates pitcher to do so since Doug Drabek from 1990-92.