Carlos Zambrano will likely be the Cubs opening day starter against the Braves in Atlanta on Monday April 5th. Zambrano has made 5 straight opening day starts for the Cubs, but he picked up his 1st win only last year against the Astros in Houston. Big Z gave up just 1 run and 5 hits in 6 solid innings in the start last season. Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about the decision: “We haven’t even gone there yet… I’ve been here three years and Zambrano has been the Opening Day starter every year. I don’t anticipate any difference there.”
It’s unclear who will start the Cubs home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on Monday April 12th. If the Cubs let Big Z and Ryan Dempster start on their regular 5 days’ rest after their 1st start, the starter would likely be the winner of the 4th starter’s role coming out of Spring Training. If the Cubs use 5 starters right out of the gate, then Dempster would likely start the Cubs home opener at the Friendly Confines.
Let’s hope Big Z can get off to a good start this season. He showed up in camp in great shape and will likely face one of the best young pitchers in the game today – Tommy Hanson – in the opener. Should be a fun way to test their mettle and see how they shape up against one of the better teams in the National League in 2010.