What comes first, the Opening Day game or naming the Opening Day starter?
That sentence did not make any sense; however, tradition has it you name your Opening Day starter long after the date is set for your Opening Day game.
Jose Urena has been named the Opening Day starter for the Miami Marlins. The long baseball season for the Marlins is just around the corner. It has been an exciting offseason for the Marlins. Acquiring Cuban outfielders Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr. to Minor League contracts. Moreover, a huge marketing campaign illustrating the new Marlins logo, new uniforms and “new colores.”
Now Opening Day.
The Marlins start the regular season March 28 against the Colorado Rockies.
Urena was also the Opening Day starter last year when he allowed a home run to the Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ on the first pitch of the 2018 season before taking the loss in an 8-4 defeat.
Urena started 16 games for the Marlins last season before landing on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
“I treat it like a normal game in the season,” Urena said. “A lot of people get excited, and you get excited too. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to do your job out there.”
The 27-year-old would go on to finish the season 9-12 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, leading the team in wins, starts, and innings pitched. He was 5-0 in September with a 1.20 ERA.
I predict Urena only to be the ace the Marlins invested in.
On August 15, 2018, Urena was ejected from a game against the Atlanta Braves after hitting rising star Ronald Acuna Jr. on the elbow with the first pitch of the game, which lead to the Braves’ and Marlins’ benches clearing.
Acuna had hit a home run in his previous five games. Urena received a six-game suspension for his role in the altercation. It was the fastest pitch thrown by Urena in 2018 up to that point.
There will be no surprise the video of the incident will be cued up for their first meeting.