Cincinnati Reds are entering the 2020 MLB season with a new starter. Reds’ manager David Bell announced on Wednesday that All-Star Sonny Gray will step in as the team’s Opening Day pitcher against Detroit Tigers on July 24th.
Gray got the nod ahead of Luis Castillo who started last season. The 30-year-old right-hander is set to be Reds’ fifth different starter since 2016.
Castillo, who had his first career All-Star appearance last season, will be second in rotation with Trevor Bauer, Wade Miley, and Anthony DeSclafani filling in the rest of the depth chart.
Explaining his decision, Bell said that he took into consideration the readiness of the players and the matchups Cincinnati will face early in the season.
“It tells the story right there,” said Bell. “When you have Luis Castillo and Trevor Bauer and Wade Miley and Anthony DeSclafani—who made great strides last year—and none of those guys is the opening day starter, it says a lot.”
For Sonny Gray, who joined Cincinnati just last season, this will be his third career Opening Day start. He got his first two with Oakland Athletics, getting a win and ND while combining for 14 shutout innings.
Gray finished 2019 with 2.87 ERA and 205 strikeouts while posting an 11-8 record.
“It’s going to be an important day,” said Gray. “Baseball will be back, and it will be back in some of the weirdest and craziest circumstances.”