Macha: Gallardo probably won't go Opening Day

Brewers manager Ken Macha will not name his Opening Day starter until the final week of March, but he is “over 50 percent” sure that it will not be right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

“I’d rather have this guy go out and start in the middle somewhere,” Macha said of Gallardo, who turns 23 on Feb. 27. “I don’t know where it’s going to be just yet. Who knows, it might be second starter. … I don’t want him going out there thinking he has to throw a shutout every game and now you’re facing [Tim] Lincecum and [Jake] Peavy and [Carlos] Zambrano, guys like that.”

It makes sense that the same thought process would hold true for 26-year-old Manny Parra as for Gallardo. If that’s the case, it would leave a trio of veteran right-handers in line for the Opening Day nod on April 7 in San Francisco: Dave Bush, Braden Looper or Jeff Suppan.

Macha did leave open the door for Gallardo to open the second half, which actually could be the more prestigious assignment. Because there are fewer off-days in July, August and September, whomever draws that game is more likely to face other teams’ top pitchers.

The Brewers have an off-day on March 24, after which Macha intends to line up the rotation for the start of the season. The Brewers’ Opening Day choice should become clear soon after that date.

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