Shota Imanaga could not be touched in his Chicago Cubs debut

Shota Imanaga's Chicago Cubs' debut could not have gone any better.

Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Monday was an important day for the Chicago Cubs as not only did their game against the Colorado Rockies serve as the home opener at Wrigley Field, but it also signaled the Major League debut of starting pitcher Shota Imanaga.

While the weather forecast was in question for Imanaga's start on Monday, the game started on time and the Japanese starting pitcher made history in that he was the first starting pitcher to make his Major League debut as the starting pitcher for the home opener.

After signing a four-year deal with the Cubs in the offseason, Imanaga was billed as the swing-and-miss starting pitcher that the team desperately needed in their starting rotation.

Shota Imanaga had the Colorado Rockies fooled all day during his Chicago Cubs debut.

Imanaga held the Rockies hitless during the first 5 innings of the game while racking up 8 strikeouts. Imanaga finished the day by striking out 9 in 6 innings of work while only allowing 2 hits.

Considering the struggles that Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto had in his first Major League start, allowing 5 runs in 1 inning, there was a sense that Imanaga may struggle in his first start or two before getting adjusted. That was not the case as Imanaga was brilliant from the first inning on against the Rockies.

There is no doubt that Monday's performance by Imanaga was a great sign for the Cubs. With the Cubs' starting rotation currently down Jameson Taillon and Justin Steele, there will be immediate pressure on Imanaga to prove that he is capable of being the top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher that Cubs' projections expect him to be.

It will be curious to see how the Cubs' go about Imanga's turn in the rotation. With Imanaga making the transition from Japan to Major League Baseball, he is moving from a six-day schedule to a five-day schedule. With Steele's rotation spot also in question, it would seem likely that Ben Brown will make a start or two in the coming weeks.

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