The Detroit Tigers have a new Opening Day starter scheduled for 2015: David Price, who joined the club via trade following seven seasons, four All-Star selections and an American League Cy Young Award with the Tampa Bay Rays.
It may be the only Opening Day start for the 29-year old left-hander in a Tigers uniform if the team can’t lock him up to a contract extension before he hits the free agent market following the season.
He might have earned the nod anyway, but one reason Price will start the season atop the rotation is that Justin Verlander may begin the year on the disabled list after leaving his March 27 start with a triceps strain. Another is that Max Scherzer is now pitching for the Washington Nationals.
Luckily for Detroit, Verlander is not expected to miss any extended time. The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner had his worst season last year (including an American League high 104 earned runs) since posting a 4.84 ERA and losing 17 games in 2008, but he still managed to start more than 30 games and pitch more than 200 innings for the eighth consecutive season.
Anibal Sanchez will be back to man the middle of the rotation. He’ll be joined by off-season additions Alfredo Simon (an All-Star for Cincinnati last season) and Shane Greene. Lefty Kyle Lobstein is the most likely option if the Tigers need a spot start while Verlander is on the shelf.
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