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Maeda named Opening Day starter

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This will be the first Opening Day nod in the US for MaeKen.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
POWDER BLUES
Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Spring is well on its way. “How?” you may be asking. Daylight savings, March snowstorms, and warm temperatures. Oh, also teams are starting to name their Opening Day starter, and the Minnesota Twins are no exception.

Rocco Baldelli notified the press today that Cy Young runner-up Kenta Maeda will toe the rubber for the Minnesota Twins on April 1 when the Twins take on the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee.

As Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes, this will be MaeKen’s first Opening Day nod state-side after earning the honors five times in his native Japan. Maeda has definitely earned the honor after posting a 2.70 ERA/3.00 FIP and a league-best 0.750 WHIP in 66.2 innings of work in a truncated 2020 season. He undoubtedly was the anchor of the rotation, providing consistency and coming oh-so-close to a no-hitter. He’s also pretty jacked to get a chance to hit again (Milwaukee is in the National League, as a reminder, and old-school rules are in play for 2021 as of right now):

Another tidbit of news is that José Berríos will get the nod for the second game of the 2021 campaign. The two-time All Star had a rough start to 2020, but turned a corner midway through the season to post a 4.00 ERA/4.06 FIP with a 9.7 K/9 rate in 63 innings of work across 12 starts.

With first cuts completed and the Opening Day and Opening Day-plus-one starters announced, the regular season is just that much closer.

How do you feel about Baldelli going with Maeda and Berríos as the one-two punch to start the season?