Opening Day is right around the corner, or at least we hope. Coronavirus has been sweeping the nation leading to the cancellation of many sporting events. As of this moment, Opening Day has not been affected.
With that being the case, David Ross has one of his first big decisions as manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have had only seven different Opening Day starters since the year 2000. Jon Lester has taken the bump on Opening Day four of the last five years, but this year it seems he will be taking a back seat, according to David Ross.
This is quite a predicament for the first-year manager. Yu Darvish went on an absolute tear in the second half of the year last season. In 13 starts after the break, Darvish posted a 2.76 ERA with 118 strikeouts and seven walks. Darvish finished the season with three straight starts with 10-plus strikeouts each start. Yu Darvish is definitely the sexy pick, no doubt about that.
Yu Darvish, although deserving, would not be the correct choice for Opening Day starter, at least in my opinion.
Kyle Hendricks deserves the ball in game one for the 2020 Chicago Cubs.
The professor has never asked for any accolades. He has never demanded more money, he simply puts his head down and goes to work every fifth day. He has been a staple of consistency for the Cubs’ pitching staff during the most successful era of Chicago Cubs baseball.
Kyle Hendricks has posted six straight seasons with a sub-3.50 ERA. He has started 30-plus games in four out of five seasons since becoming a full-time starter for the Cubs. He has never walked more than 45 batters in a season or posted a WHIP higher than 1.9. Hendricks finished third in Cy Young voting in a year when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. When the Cubs needed a victory against Clayton Kershaw to clinch the NL title, Kyle Hendricks took the ball and posted a brilliant start to send the Cubs to their first World Series since 1945.
Being named the Opening Day starter is an honor. Kyle Hendricks has earned that honor with the Chicago Cubs. Yu Darvish has sexier stuff and will garner more attention, there is no doubt about that. However, it is time Kyle Hendricks gets the shine he deserves.
Make the right decision David Ross, the lesson plan is ready for March 26th. Class is in session.