The moniker of “Opening Day starter” has probably become overblown over the years, but when teams use the term to indicate their “number one” guy, it becomes a bit more noteworthy. In the case of the San Francisco Giants, this season will be used to pass the torch to their brightest young pitching star.
Bruce Bochy names Madison Bumgarner as the 2014 Opening Day starter. #SFGiants
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) February 25, 2014
The Giants announced on Tuesday afternoon that left-hander Madison Bumgarner would take over the reins as the Opening Day starter, and while it’s not a shock, there is a bit of surprise here. Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum have been the pillars of the Giants rotation for years now, and with both guys on the roster, it will be a bit odd to see someone else take the ball from the opening moments.
Still, Bumgarner was easily the best pitcher on San Francisco’s staff last season, posting a 2.77 ERA over more than 200 innings, and with Cain (4.00 ERA) and Lincecum (4.37 ERA) having “down” years, it seems like an easy choice. Bumgarner, now 24 years old, has a bright future ahead of him, and it seems as if the Giants are switching gears to highlight their up-and-coming lefty.