The Cincinnati Reds have announced that Hunter Greene will be the starting pitcher on Opening Day this season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Opening Day will be on Thursday March 30th this year at 4:10pm ET.
The call on who to start on Opening Day in 2023 likely was down to either Hunter Greene or Nick Lodolo. The choice to go with Greene over Lodolo probably wasn’t an easy choice, but either choice would have been a good one. Last season Greene made 24 starts and posted a 4.44 ERA in 125.2 innings while striking out 164 batters. That wasn’t quite as good as Lodolo’s 3.66 ERA in 19 starts with 131 strikeouts in 103.1 innings pitched. Greene closed out the year on an incredible run. While he did miss six weeks on the injured list, in the second half he posted a 1.02 ERA in 35.1 innings while allowing just one home run, walking just eight batters, and he struck out 51 hitters.
Right now the Reds rotation is known only through the first three spots. Greene, Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft are in. Who the other two starting pitchers will be are yet to be determined. Greene started earlier today in Arizona against the Chicago Cubs, tossing 4.0 shutout innings along the way. Lodolo is slated to start one of the two scheduled games tomorrow, setting things up where he is lined up to start the second game of the season as long as everyone stays healthy.
Hunter Greene is the least experienced starting pitcher to get the start on Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds since 2016 when Raisel Iglesias got the call in 2016 with just 95.1 innings under his belt. Iglesias didn’t get the decision on that day, but the Reds came out on top of the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2. Since that 2016 Opening Day, the Reds have only had one pitcher start more than one opening day – Luis Castillo, who started in both 2019 and 2021. Scott Feldman (2017), Homer Bailey (2018), Sonny Gray (2020), and Tyler Mahle (2022) filled in the other years.
World Baseball Classic notes
Alexis Diaz took the mound this afternoon for Puerto Rico in their exhibition games against Atlanta. He pitched the final inning for Puerto Rico, throwing a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Two Reds pitchers took the mound for Great Britain in their exhibition against Kansas City. Ian Gibaut and prospect Donovan Benoit both were charged with an earned run in an inning of work while picking up a strikeout.