UPDATE: Earlier this morning I wrote this post asking people who they thought should be the Opening Day starter, based on information published yesterday that said that Mike Quade would make his decision tomorrow (Tuesday).
Quade made his selection today; tweet from Carrie Muskat has the details:
Quade announces Ryan Dempster will be the #Cubs Opening Day starter, followed by Zambrano and Garza
Here's the rest of the original post:
Yesterday, Bruce Miles wrote about what Mike Quade said about setting up the Cubs' pitching rotation:
The Cubs won’t decide on their pitching for next Sunday’s Cactus League opener until Tuesday, said Q, who will defer to pitching coach Mark Riggins. Q said he’s focused more on the Wrigley Field opener than the Cactus League opener. They’ll work backward from the regular-season opener, so read nothing into who starts next Sunday vs. the Athletics. "At some point, he’s got to set this up," Q said of Riggins. "You have much more flexibility at the back end, especially with the two days off before the start of the season. My understanding is the first three spots need to be decided before too long."
And according to a quick blurb at the end of this article, which is mostly about Starlin Castro, here's the date you need to watch for to determine who will start April 1 vs. the Pirates:
... it's whoever starts the fourth game, on March 2, who will be on schedule to start the season opener April 1 at Wrigley Field. Quade has not decided on whether that will be Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster or Carlos Zambrano.
So who would you pick? Carlos Zambrano has started the last six Opening Days for the Cubs -- that's the most consecutive OD starts by any Cub starter since 1920 (Fergie Jenkins started six, but not in a row -- for some reason, Leo Durocher chose Joe Niekro to start on OD in 1968). But Big Z had one of the worst starts of his career last OD in Atlanta, and sometimes gets too amped up for big games like this. Dempster has been the team's most consistent starter for the last three years, and I believe has earned it. Matt Garza is a fine pitcher, but I believe you shouldn't give the Opening Day nod to someone new to the team.
Who's your choice? Vote in the poll.