Everyone knew Yovani Gallardo would be the Brewers’ Opening Day starter, but the Brewers made the somewhat-official-announcement Friday when they released their probable pitchers for the first three games of the season.
Gallardo will take the ball on April 1 when the Brewers host Colorado, who will start Jhoulys Chacin. It will be the fourth start in an opener in Gallardo’s career, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time list. Only Ben Sheets — who started six — has thrown the season’s first pitch more times. Of course, those who remember the Ken Macha days will be quick to point out Gallardo should be making his 5th start in an opener, but Macha went with the veteran grittiness of Jeff Suppan in 2009.
As expected, Marco Estrada will start the year in the rotation’s number-two slot, facing off Tuesday night against old friend Jorge de la Rosa. In case you forgot, Estrada broke into the Brewers’ rotation last season with a five-inning, two-hit, one-run, nine-strikeout, zero-walk outing against the Rockies in late April. De la Rosa, meanwhile, has given up 19 runs on 29 hits in 21.1 innings against the Brewers since leaving the organization.
Colorado will send Juan Nicasio in the series finale, while the Brewers are tenatively listing Wily Peralta on the team’s website. We say tenatively because apparently, it still depends on what Ron Roenicke and his staff decide to do with the newly-signed Kyle Lohse. Adam McCalvy says there’s still a chance Lohse pitches against the Rockies, or they may decide to hold Lohse off until the weekend series against Arizona.
The Brewers signed Lohse to ultimately add stability to the rotation, but by waiting so long to do so, they’ve already sacrificed some of that. Ideally, the team would have their rotation locked down to start the year, but since no one really knows just how ready Lohse is, the entire rotation beyond Gallardo and Estrada remains up in the air, just a few days before Opening Day.