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Twins name Jake Odorizzi Opening Day starter

Don’t everyone get super excited all at once.

Minnesota Twins Photo Day
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Twins basically just had their best offseason ever, and it seems like fans and players alike have been riding a wave of optimism heading into the new season. I feel a bit gitty myself over things just like, say, actually having a little pitching depth. It’s so new and exciting! Heck, the Twins might give the Indians a run for their money this year!

Of course, then the Twins went today and named their Opening Day starter: Jake Odorizzi.

It’s a nice little reminder that is bringing me a bit back down to reality.

No offense to Odorizzi, but most teams usually use their best starter on Opening Day. It’s the day they usually turn to their “Ace”. Well, Odorizzi is not an Ace, nor even the Twins’ best starter. He’s a fine enough pitcher, but he’s more of a back-of-the-rotation guy. Over the 143.1 innings he pitched last year with the Rays, he posted a 4.14 ERA and gave up thirty home runs — but sure! Jake Odorizzi, Opening Day stater.

In fact, the whole rotation is planned out like this:

  1. Jake Odorizzi
  2. Kyle Gibson
  3. Jose Berrios
  4. Lance Lynn

Note: The Twins don’t really need a fifth starter the first few weeks of the season, so they just aren’t going with one. Phil Hughes will be able to make a spot start if needed, but will start off the season as a long-relief guy out of the pen.

If the order of that rotation looks a bit odd to you, good. It should. However, there is actually an explanation! See, Jose Berrios — who most would call the Twins’ best starting pitcher at the moment — is from Puerto Rico, and the Twins are playing two games against the Indians in Puerto Rico April 17th and 18th. The Twins wanted to line-up Berrios to start one of the games in his home country state territory. I think Berrios and Puerto Rico has earned that, so I have no problem with it.

In addition, the Twins want to start Lane Lynn last to give him the most time to prepare. Lynn didn’t even sign until March 11th, and although he’d obviously been working out, he’s gotten less time to prepare in Spring Training than everyone else. Fair enough.

So that leaves the Twins with Jake Odorizzi starting Opening Day against the Orioles in Baltimore — which, by the way, is exactly one week from today.

Hey, at least it isn’t Vance Worley?