GRAY EXCITED TO GET CALL AS STARTER ON OPENING DAY
scottsdale, ariz. With just one full season behind him, Jon Gray might not have the résumé of an ace, but the 25- year- old, gunarmed right- hander will start on opening day for the Rockies, manager Bud Black confirmed Thursday.
Gray was pretty sure the moment was coming, but that didn’t make his conversation with Black less special.
“I’m so excited about it, and it definitely gets you excited to start the season,” Gray said.
Gray, who will pitch Monday afternoon against the Brewers at Milwaukee’s Miller Park, will become Colorado’s 18th pitcher to start on opening day in 25 seasons. The Rockies are hopeful he can anchor a rotation that will be among the youngest in franchise history.
“I told him it’s a feather in the cap,” Black said. “It’s a special day for everybody in baseball. He gave me a Jon Gray smile.”
Gray sports the most powerful arm in Colorado’s green rotation. He had 185 strikeouts in 168 innings last season, setting a franchise record for a rookie.
Black would not confirm the rest of the Rockies’ rotation, but left- hander Tyler Anderson, 27, probably will start Tuesday atMilwaukee, followed by Tyler Chatwood, 27. Anderson pitched three innings against San Diego on Thursday. It will be Anderson’s first full season in the majors.
“Let’s go. Bring it on,” Anderson said.
The final two spots probably will be announced Friday. Lefthander Kyle Freeland, 23, and right- hander Antonio Senzatela, 22, appear to be the leading candidates.
Despite an excellent camp, lefthander Harrison Musgrave, 25, was reassigned to minor- league camp, along with catcher Anthony Bemboom. The club also optioned infielderoutfielder Jordan Patterson to Triple- A Albuquerque.