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The Rays and Opening Day Starters

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James Shields is going to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for the Rays. No one else in franchise history has started more than two. In honor of that accomplishment lets take a quick look at who the Rays/Devil Rays have sent to the hill to begin the 10 seasons prior to Shields. It's not pretty:

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

 

That list really shows you how far this franchise has come in such a short time, not that Scott Kazmir was bad in 06-07. As long as Shields stays healthy he'll probably make the opening day start for the next couple of seasons. Those Alvarez-Trachsel-Lopez-Kennedy-Zambrano-Brazelton years were brutal though, weren't they?

Thank you, Mr. Shields.