Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria announced the starting rotation for the season’s first week and named Travis Wood the home opener starter against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Cubs have announced that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will be the Opening day starter in Pittsburgh on March 31, followed by Edwin Jackson then Jason Hammel in the opening series. The left-hander Wood, will pitch against a heavy lefty lineup with only Marlon Byrd and Carlos Ruiz batting from the right box.
Renteria has still yet to name a fifth starter for the Sunday, April 6 game. Left-hander Chris Rusin and right-hander Carlos Villanueva have emerged as for the fifth rotation spot. Rusin will likely get the nod for the Cubs to pitch against the lefties, but this will not mean he is penciled in the fifth spot for the season.
Wood, 27, went 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA, 144 strikeouts, 1.145 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and 6.5 K/9 over 200 innings. He was also named to his first All-Star game in 2013.