Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash has his Opening Day starter. Left-hander Shane McClanahan, 24, will get the call for his first Opening Day start.
McClanahan will be tasked with facing the Baltimore Orioles on April 8.
The young lefty is in just his second MLB season, but was Tampa Bay's most reliable starter after ace Tyler Glasnow went down halfway through the year with an elbow ijury.
“It is a big deal. You look at the Opening Day starters in this organization for many years, it should be an honor,” Cash said. “I know he appreciates it. His body of work last year -- very, very deserving. We don’t get where we got and finish the way we finished if it wasn’t for him really stepping up after Glas’ injury and fulfilling just a major role on our team and providing high-quality innings every five days.”
In his rookie campaign, McClanahan threw 123.1 innings, posting a 10-6 record and a 3.43 ERA. He also logged an impressive 141 strikeouts in that time.
The move comes as no surprise, as he was tapped to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series last season.
First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. from Tropicana Field on Opening Day.