MESA, Ariz. – As Opening Day nears for Major League Baseball, there is one choice for that game that every manager has to make: The starting pitcher.
For the first time since 2019 for the Cubs, it will be someone other than Kyle Hendricks.
On his Twitter account this week, Marcus Stroman announced that he’s been named the starter for the Cubs’ 2023 opening day game against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Thursday, March 30th.
He will be the 69th Opening Day starter in Cubs history, with Fergie Jenkins holding the record for most starts at seven.
“Beyond thankful and grateful to be named the Opening Day starter for this year. Truly can’t wait to feel the energy in Wrigley. CUBS fans…THANK YOU in advance for the passion and vibe y’all provide each and every day. Can’t wait to compete for you all year!,” said Stroman on his Twitter account.
Hendricks had started the previous three opening days for the clubs in 2020 (vs Brewers, Wrigley Field), 2021 (vs Pirates, Wrigley Field), but he continues to rehab his shoulder after surgery in 2021. Jon Lester started the previous three openers before that from 2017-2019.
Stroman is beginning his second season with the Cubs and his ninth in Major League Baseball, having previously pitched with the Blue Jays and Mets. This is the third Opening Day start of his MLB career, having opened the season for Toronto on April 3, 2016 (at Rays) and March 28, 2019 (vs Tigers).
In his first year in Chicago, Stroman was 6-7 with a 3.50 ERA with 119 strikeouts compared to 36 walks. He’s been busy this spring as he pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, taking to the mound for two games for nine inning. In nine innings of work, he allowed two earned runs with four strikeouts compared to one walk.