Gallardo gets another Opening Day nod

Yovani Gallardo has the history, Kyle Lohse is coming off the best year and Matt Garza got the big money. For weeks, the question has been which Brewers right-hander would get the ball first.

Manager Ron Roenicke answered on Thursday.

“Yovani is going to pitch Opening Day,” Roenicke said. “As it stands now, Kyle is going to go two, and then we’re just seeing what’s going to happen here.”

Opening Day is March 31 against the Braves at Miller Park, and Gallardo would become the first Brewers pitcher ever to start five consecutive season openers. After the three-game series against Atlanta, the Brewers hit the road to help open Fenway Park in Boston and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Brewers’ pitching plans for those games are still being debated, but the leading scenario has Garza, who has lots of experience pitching in the American League East, holding until the Brewers’ fourth game of the season in Boston.

“You overthink these things, like we do every year, and they don’t work out the way you think they’re going to,” Roenicke said with a shrug. “I don’t want to say who’s better than whom, but say you have three guys that are really good or four guys that are really good, do you want to win every game you can as soon as you can, or do you back one of those guys off because he’s got more experience against, say, a Boston? He’s performed well against them. Those are the things we’re looking at. Then it’s, OK, who’s better when we go to Philly? It gets to the point like you’re overthinking things instead of maybe just winning the games as soon as you can. If those two are going the first two games, in the third game, should we just pitch the guy who has the best chance of winning that ballgame instead of worrying about what’s going happen in Boston? … “They’re all good teams. So it’s almost like, ‘Just line them up and we’ll go.”

Stay tuned to see how Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz answer those questions.

But this much is sure: If he gets through the spring without any setbacks, Gallardo is the guy on Opening Day.

“I think with him being on this club for a long time, with having the success that he’s had, we feel like he should be the guy that starts it,” Roenicke said. “And Kyle was fine with it, Garza was fine with it. So it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Might it boost Gallardo’s confidence, coming off a tough 2013 season?

“I know they take it as an honor, and they should,” Roenicke said. “It’s not mean to do that; what it’s meant to do is Yo deserves to start Opening Day, and he’s going to do start.”


Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy




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