Opening Day hint?
The Orioles will have Brian Matusz start Friday, which pushes Jake Arrieta back to Saturday, possibly lining up the 26-year-old Arrieta for April 6’s Opening Day on five days’ rest. Arrieta has been heavily speculated as the Orioles’ choice to start the season, although manager Buck Showalter has remained mum on naming an official Opening Day starter. Showalter did confirm after Friday’s game that Arrieta would start Saturday’s game against the Pirates’ split-squad.
Right now, the rotation looks to be Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel and Tommy Hunter with Brian Matusz a strong candidate for the fifth spot and Wada, Simon, Dana Eveland and Chris Tillman also possibilities.
You can read about Hunter’s outing tonight here.
*Also, it’s worth noting that reliever Jim Johnson topped out at 94 mph with his fastball in the seventh inning tonight. Johnson, who allowed an unearned run, said Friday that he was confident he would be back to regular-season form for Opening Day. Seems he’s getting better every time out, which is certainly good news for the Orioles.