clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

10 reasons why starting David Price on Opening Day is the right move for the Tigers

Brad Ausmus chose David Price over Justin Verlander to start on Opening Day, and he make the right call.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of good reasons that David Price was the right choice to start for the Tigers on Opening Day. These are my top ten.

  1. Every win counts. The Tigers won the division last year by one game, and they have a better chance of winning the opener with Price on the mound.
  2. The schedule could shake out that the opening day starter is also the starter on the last day of the season, an intra-division game against the White Sox. That game could be for first place. This sets Price up as more likely to start the final game.
  3. David Price could well be lost to free agency after this season. Pitch him every fifth day, and figure out the rest of the rotation around that. He made 34 starts last year, why not 35 this year?
  4. Verlander can start the Indians' home opener on April 10, if they want to provide him an honor of sorts.
  5. Saving Verlander for game four would mean he faces the Indians, who many pick to be the strongest rival in the division.
  6. Verlander has over 2000 innings in his career, including the last four postseasons, with short off-seasons. He appears to be wearing down and could use some breaks. They should seek opportunities for him to have a breather, such as an extra off day or a long rest at the All Star break.  Consider this his first break of the season.
  7. Sanchez can pitch game two against the Twins, and Greene can pitch game three. This breaks Greene in against an easier lineup than the Indians.
  8. With an off day after opening day, Ausmus can go with a four man rotation until April 15. Alfredo Simon can pitch out of the bullpen. Every opportunity should be made to keep his number of starts close to 20 in an effort to avoid last year's second-half crash. A weather cancellation could push the need for Simon to start until the third week of the season.
  9. If Price pitches game two, he will miss the first series against the Indians. The Indians hit right-handers better than left-handers, so Price needs to face the Indians in that series.
  10. Justin Verlander had a 1.40 WHIP last year. David Price had a 1.08 WHIP. Justin Verlander faced the Twins twice, allowing six runs. David Price faced the Twins four times, allowing eight runs. Let's start the season on the right foot.

What do you think? Did Brad Ausmus make the right decision?