The day we have all been waiting for. The MLB Opening Day is tomorrow, Thursday, March 28, here in the States. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics have already kicked their season off, officially, last week in Tokyo, Japan in a two game series. The Mariners "swept" the A's in their Opening series.
Now the St. Louis Cardinals, who closed their Spring camp with a walk-off win over the Miami Marlins and took 'Bragging Rights' over the Memphis Triple-A, begin at Miller Park, Milwaukee facing the Brewers.
OPENING DAY MATCH-UP
All Star Miles Mikolas will start the series off in Game One. He was signed to an extension (4 YR, 2020-2024/$68 M) at the beginning of Spring Training this season. After his return from the Japan league, Cardinals signed him to two year deal, 2018-2019, which raised eyebrows among many Cardinals fans being tagged as a starter. But, seeing just how effective he was, they began to warm-up to his solid pitching as the season progressed.
His first season back in the States, named to the All Star NL roster, he closed 2018 with five straight wins in September for his season total 18-4/2.83 ERA/200.1 IP in 32 games and only allowing 186 hits/63 ER. He held a phenomenal 29-146/BB-SO ratio for a .818 W-L%. He won both his starts last season at Miller Park and was 3-1 overall against them.
He will face Brewers RHP Jhoulys Chacin, who is making his third career (different teams) Opening Day appearance. His last in Miller Park was in 2013 with the Colorado Rockies facing his present team. Last season, he was 2-2/5.26 ERA facing the Cardinals. This will be his first "home" Opening Day start.
BATTLE OF THE BIRDS ~ Cardinals 6 - Redbirds 3 in exhibition.
Yes, the Cardinals left Memphis with 'Bragging Rights' over their affiliate Memphis Triple-A Redbirds.
After the game, the organization made their final Spring roster moves to arrive at their 25 man active roster. Left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb was optioned to Memphis. Re-assigned to the minor leagues: RHP Chris Beck, LHP Tommy Layne, catchers Andrew Knizner and Francisco Pena, IF's Tommy Edman and Rangel Ravelo, along with OF Dylan Carlson.
Cardinals rotation for 2019 has been set: Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright.
John Brebbia (R), John Gant (R), Jordan Hicks (R), Dominic Leone (R), Mike Mayers (R), Andrew Miller (L) and Alex Reyes (R)
Yes - only one lefty in our rotation/bullpen. Interesting? Yes, it is.
Matt Carpenter (3B)
Paul DeJong (SS)
Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
Kolten Wong (2B)
Harrison Bader (CF)
Dexter Fowler (RF)
Marcell Ozuna (LF)
Yairo Munoz (IF)
Drew Robinson (IF)
Jose Martinez (OF)
Tyler O'Neill (OF)
UPDATE ON LEAD-OFF MATT CARPENTER
Cardinals third baseman this season, Matt Carpenter, experienced back tightness late in Spring camp. He was held out the last week of games, taking his first at-bat in the last Spring game against the Marlins, this past Sunday. He exited and was reported to be on the backfield getting some reps at the plate and time in the field.
Per Carpenter by Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com: (March 21) “Where I’m at, really, truthfully, is that if it were mid-season, I would be playing through it,” Carpenter said. “But because of it being early in the year and we’re about to break [camp], I’m not pushing through a little tight back when I don’t feel like it’s a necessity at this point. I had enough workload before that as far as playing and defense to where a day or two would be good.”
Therefore, look for Carpenter to be in his designated spot in the line-up, as lead-off, against the Brewers in Game One. No way is he going to miss "Opening Day".