We’ve known it all along but the Miami Marlins made official on Sunday that Henderson Alvarez will start on Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves, April 6 at Marlins Park.
All offseason it’s been as obvious as the home run sculpture is garrish that we’d see Alvarez’s old school delivery as the first pitch of the 2015 season. But on Sunday Mike Redmond and the Marlins made the announcement we all knew was coming, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
“He brings a lot to the table. … He brings a flare, an excitement,” Redmond said. “It’s really a perfect fit for Opening Day.”
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In a perfect world it would have been Jose Fernandez taking the mound for his second straight Opening Day. But that obviously can’t happen, so Alvarez is the next logical choice and will make his first Opening Day start. In 30 starts last season the 24-year-old pitched to a 2.65 ERA, good for sixth-best in the National League. He was the Marlins workhorse and subsequent ace after Fernandez went down, throwing 187.0 quality innings and earning a trip to his first All-Star game.
Fernandez would’ve become the first Marlins starter to get the nod in consecutive Opening Days since Josh Johnson did so from 2010-12. Instead, Alvarez becomes the team’s fourth Opening Day starter in the last four years. Ricky Nolasco started Opening Day in 2013, and Fernandez became the Marlins’ youngest-ever Opening Day starter last season.
Frisaro notes that the rest of the rotation has yet to be decided, with Jarred Cosart nursing a finger blister and under investation by MLB for sports gambling. Brad Hand is also still in the mix for a rotation spot.
The rotation however is expected to be Alvarez, Mat Latos, Cosart, Dan Haren and Tom Koehler, though not necessarily in that exact order. Redmond has hinted at Cosart being the number two starter, which makes no sense. Cosart last pitched on March 22 in a less-than-impressive outing against the Minnesota Twins. If healthy, he would ideally make one more spring start.
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