The Pirates have named free agent acquisition Kevin Correia their starter against Ryan Dempster and the Cubs on Opening Day, the Post-Gazette reports. Opening Day for the Pirates will be on April 1 at Wrigley Field. The order of starters to begin the year will be Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and James McDonald, which means that Maholm will pitch in the Pirates' home opener on April 7 against the Rockies.â†µ
These aren't the most exciting choices for the Pirates, but given that who the Opening Day starter is doesn't matter much from a baseball perspective, they make sense. McDonald is arguably the highest-upside and best pitcher in the Bucs' rotation, but he's relatively young, so if he were to pitch badly on Opening Day, fans would complain that the sky was falling. He's also dealing with a minor injury right now. Ross Ohlendorf had a 1-11 record last year, which means the Pirates would have to endure tons of cheap shots in the press if he started Opening Day. And Morton is a huge wild card. So Correia and Maholm are fine, I suppose.