Given his famous competitiveness, it came as absolutely no surprise on Tuesday when Zack Greinke said he would like to start for the Brewers on Opening Day.
Greinke spoke following his much-anticipated, if unofficial, Milwaukee debut, and anyone can check the calendar and see the former Royals ace is on an every-five-day schedule that leads directly to his second consecutive Opening Day start. But anyone — including Greinke — can also check the roster and see there are two other pitchers who took the ball in 2010 openers, including Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers’ incumbent and All-Star who said last month that he’d like the honor for the second straight year. Shaun Marcum is a Brewer, too, and he started the Blue Jays’ 2010 opener.
Greinke realizes that manager Ron Roenicke is in something of a pickle.
“Everyone wants to pitch Opening Day, but whatever is decided, it’s not like anyone’s going to cry if they don’t get it,” Greinke said. “I was thinking about it. It’s kind of tricky.”
Roenicke was relayed that comment following the Brewers’ 3-1 win over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
“Good answer, Zack,” Roenicke said with a smile.
With that, Ronicke went quiet. He isn’t ready to reveal his pitching plans for the first week of the Brewers’ regular season, though he told reporters earlier in the day to expect something soon.
The skipper hinted in previous days that he would use left-hander Randy Wolf in Game 3 of the season to separate him from the other lefty, Chris Narveson, who will be fifth out of the chute. That leaves Greinke, Gallardo and Marcum to fill Games 1, 2 and 4. The first is the team’s March 31 season opener in Cincinnati, but the fourth game is just as big because it’s the Brewers home opener. Roenicke made clear he views that as a prestigious assignment.
Still, everybody seems to want Opening Day.
“But that’s good,” Roenicke said. “If guys are upset about not pitching that opener, that’s good. Any time you have guys that want the ball all the time, that’s great to have.”
So, stay tuned.
For more on Greinke’s first outing and some video of his postgame media scrum, check Brewers.com later today.