Opening Day: Zack Greinke Vs. Bronson Arroyo
Nothing’s etched in stone, but barring a setback by either player, it’s looking like it will be Zack Greinke facing off against Bronson Arroyo when the Milwaukee Brewers travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds on Mar. 31 for Opening Day.
It will be a battle of the the team looking to defend their NL Central crown against a much improved team looking to unseat the Reds as division champs.
After giving up four prospects for the former Kansas City Royals pitcher in December, Greinke appears to be the most likely candidate to become the top of the rotation starter for the Brewers.
Greinke will be looking to find the form that made in the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner. After a down season in 2010, many hope pitching for a contender will prevent him from losing focus when he was routinely pitching for a losing ballclub that was frequently out of playoff contention early each season.
As for the Brewers’ first opponent of the regular season, Arroyo would seem to fit the bill as the Reds’ no. 1 pitcher.
According to a report from MLB.com writer Mark Sheldon, “Now that [Aaron] Harang is with the Padres, Arroyo is the senior member of the entire team. The club has not asked Arroyo to take the ball yet for the March 31 opener vs. the Brewers at Great American Ball Park, but he would be open to it this year.”
Arroyo compiled a 17-10 record, a 3.88 ERA and earned a Gold Glove last season while helping lead the Reds to an appearance in the playoffs for the first time since 1995.
The Reds righthander is part of a deep and talented starting rotation that includes Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, who are expected to round out the top three spots.
Greinke, meanwhile, is one of three Brewers pitchers that started on Opening Day in 2010 joining Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum.