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James Shields To Start Rays Season Opener

For the second consecutive season, James Shields will take the mound for the Rays in the season opener. Marc Lancaster informs us the rest of the rotation will go as followed: Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine with a fifth member to be named later. Shields joins Kazmir and Wilson Alvarez as the only two Rays starting pitchers to start two openers.


Year Opening Day Starter
1998 Wilson Alvarez
1999 Wilson Alvarez
2000 Steve Trachsel
2001 Albie Lopez
2002 Tanyon Sturtze
2003 Joe Kennedy
2004 Victor Zambrano
2005 Dewon Brazelton
2006 Scott Kazmir
2007 Scott Kazmir
2008 James Shields 
2009 James Shields 

Congrats to Mr. Shields.

Also from Lancaster, the Rays have announced the spring schedule for their starting pitchers at least for the first turn through.

Saturday vs. Red Sox: Shields (backed up by Jason Hammel)
Sunday at Red Sox: Wade Davis
Monday vs. Twins: Kazmir (backed up by Jeff Niemann)
Tuesday vs. Blue Jays: Garza (backed up by Sonnanstine and David Price)

Interesting to note that Sonnanstine and Price will both make their debuts in "relief" roles.