PORT CHARLOTTE (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays made it official after Thursday's 8-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins, naming Chris Archer the Opening Day starter for the fourth consecutive season. He becomes the first pitcher in franchise history to make four straight Opening Day starts.
"That's saying something about the body of work that he's put together throughout his early career here and how much we value him and count on him to lead us for the last four Opening Days," manager Kevin Cash said.
With Archer going March 29 against the Boston Red Sox, he will be followed by left-hander Blake Snell the following day. The team's first bullpen day start will be the third game of the season, with Nathan Eovaldi starting the finale of the four-game series and Jake Faria starting April 2 in the Bronx in the team's first road game against the New York Yankees.
"The reasoning behind the bullpen day on game three: it just allows with all the off days to manage specifically Nate's work load coming out of the gate," Cash explained.