The San Francisco Giants wrapped up their “final” day of workout on Friday, and manager Bruce Bochy had some news.
The manager plans to use the below rotation for the first few Cactus League games, which begin tomorrow against the Los Angeles Angels.
1. Matt Cain
2. Madison Bumgarner
3. Tim Lincecum
4. Barry Zito
5. Ryan Vogelsong
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the above rotation is also the tentative regular season rotation. Bochy reportedly stressed that he could change the rotation between now and opening day barring any injuries and what not. That’s a given.
The alignment of the rotation isn’t a surprise. Cain was announced as the Opening Day starter against the Los Angeles Dodgers a few days ago, and Bumgarner is in their to breakup the right handers–Cain and Lincecum.
If the rotation doesn’t change, Zito will start the home-opener against the St.Louis Cardinals on April 5th. Yes, ironic, but a much deserving honor for Zito, who has had his ups and downs with Giants fans since he signed a massive contract with San Francisco in 2006.
In case you forgot, Zito pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball against the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS last year. His gutsy performance kept the Giants’ World Series hopes alive, and fueled a historical comeback.
There’s one thing to note: Vogelsong, who’s slated as the fifth starter, will pitch Saturday’s Cactus League opener instead of Cain. No, nothing is wrong with Cain. Vogelsong just needs to get a jump-start before he heads off the World Baseball Classic to pitch for Team USA, according to Schulman.
Here’s an excerpt from Schulman’s report:
Cain will start Sunday’s road game against the Cubs. Bumgarner goes Monday at home against the White Sox. After Lincecum starts against the Dodgers, Zito will pitch his first game Tuesday at the Angels backing up Vogelsong, who will make his second start.