The Chicago Cubs had already confirmed that Kyle Hendricks would pitch the team’s Opening Day tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but David Ross has now confirmed that a familiar face will be on the hill for the second game of the season.
During a pregame press availability in Arizona on Thursday, Ross announced that Jake Arrieta will take the ball for the second game of the season against the Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Zach Davies, acquired from the San Diego Padres in the deal that sent Yu Darvish to the West Coast, will start the third and final game of the opening series.
Arrieta, who rejoined the Cubs this season after a three-year stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, has appeared in four Cactus League games for the Cubs, posting a 2.40 ERA and striking out 10 batters in 15 innings of work.
Davies has had a fantastic spring for the Cubs, posting a 3-0 record with a stellar 0.68 ERA in those games. He has struck out 12 batters and posted a 1.05 WHIP in 13.1 innings with the North Siders.
Yet to be determined is how the Cubs will set up the back-end of their rotation, with Alec Mills, Adbert Alzolay and Trevor Williams still angling for sports in the rotation.
Alzolay still has an extra option on his contract for the Cubs, meaning that he would not have to clear waivers to be sent to the minor leagues to start the season. That could pave the way for Mills and Williams to claim the final two spots, but that determination likely won’t come until next week.