Lou Piniella named his starter for the opener on April 6 in Houston on Thursday….and the honor will go to Carlos Zambrano for the fifth year in a row. Piniella made the announcement before the exhibition game with Team Japan.
Ryan Dempster will follow Zambrano in the rotation. Ted Lilly is slated to pitch the home opener against the Rockies followed by Rich Harden. The Cubs also announced on Thursday they will skip the fifth starter in the rotation the first time through. According to the report from Cubs.com, Ryan Dempster was “a little disappointed.”
The Cubs rotation as of March 12:
- Carlos Zambrano
- Ryan Dempster
- Ted Lilly
- Rich Harden
Sean Marshall is still considered the front-runner for the fifth spot but Aaron Heilman has been just as effective.
The big question with Carlos Zambrano going on Opening Day is which Big Z will show up? He has not pitched well on Opening Day, except for last year against the Brewers before he left the game with forearm cramps.