Brewers News: Brandon Woodruff Unsurprisingly Named Opening Day Starter
In perhaps the least surprising announcement of the year, the Brewers have decided who will start on Opening Day.
Congratulations to Brandon Woodruff on being named the Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day starter. He will get the ball on Friday, July 24th against the Chicago Cubs to kick off the 2020 season.
This comes as a surprise to absolutely no one as Woodruff has been the favorite for that job since last year.
In 2019, Woodruff was one of three young pitchers to get their first full time opportunities in the rotation and he was the only one who was able to keep his head above water throughout the whole season and keep his job.
Woodruff pitched to a 3.62 ERA in 22 starts last year and missed some time with an oblique injury but he came back in time to pitch in the Wild Card game and pitch extremely well, going four innings with only one run allowed.
He had established himself by that point as the Brewers best starting pitcher and that did not change heading into 2020.
Opening Day Curse?
Over the past five years or so, every Brewers Opening Day starter has seemingly been cursed with either injuries or a poor season after starting on Opening Day. Woodruff will be the team’s sixth different starter on Opening Day in the last six seasons.
Jhoulys Chacin struggled and was released in 2019, Chase Anderson struggled in 2018, Junior Guerra was injured and struggled in 2017, Wily Peralta struggled in 2016, and Kyle Lohse struggled in 2015.
So, maybe there’s something to this curse and the Brewers would consider not subjecting Brandon Woodruff to that, right? Wrong.
Craig Counsell was pretty clear that they never considered doing something different with the Opening Day starter job despite the belief by fans that there is a curse. This has been Woodruff’s job pretty much since his Wild Card game start.
The Opening Day pitching matchup has now been set as the Chicago Cubs announced Kyle Hendricks as their starter the other day.
The last time the Brewers had the same pitcher start Opening Day in back-to-back years was from 2010-14 when Yovani Gallardo was the staff ace. Hopefully Woodruff will find success in 2020 and avoid the alleged curse and be able to start again on Opening Day in 2021.
However, we need to get through 2020 first, and we’re just about ready to start.
At some point in the next few days, Counsell is likely going to announce how the rest of the rotation spots will line up, but there may be a few more surprises in that group than there was with this announcement.