One thing that we were waiting for as fans of the Orioles was who was going to be named the opening day starter as opening day is now less than a week away. That wait is over, as manager Brandon Hyde has tabbed veteran Kyle Gibson as the opening day starter on March 30 against the Boston Red Sox.
Gibson, who was signed to a one year, $10 million deal in the offseason, will be the first starting pitcher to take the hill for the Orioles in 2023. The rest of the starting rotation hasn't been confirmed by Hyde, but top prospect Grayson Rodriguez has a strong chance to break camp in the rotation alongside Cole Irvin, Dean Kremer, and one of either Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells, or Austin Voth.
This is not Gibson's first opening day assignment, with the 10 year veteran also taking the ball to start the season for the Texas Rangers in 2021, a year where he made his only all star game to date. So far this spring, Gibson has allowed two runs, 11 hits, and no walks in 14 innings over four spring training starts. Brandon Hyde talked about breaking the news to him:
"It was fun to break the news to him a few days ago. This is going to be his second one, and what a great honor, and he’s earned every bit of it. We’re happy to have him and happy that he’s going to be out there for Opening Day. If you look at our rotation, we have some guys who don’t have a whole lot of years, and Kyle’s the obvious choice from a years standpoint, and a veteran in the pitching staff and the rotation. We kind of wanted to see what everybody looked like, honestly, and not make any snap decisions, but I think as camp went along that it was pretty obvious."
Last season, Gibson played for the Philadelphia Phillies. He posted a 5.05 ERA, 4.28 FIP, and 1.336 WHIP over 31 starts, logging 167 2/3 innings, striking out 144 batters. He has a career 4.52 ERA, 1.385 WHIP, and 4.29 FIP in 267 career games, with all but six of them being starts.
The new guy in town gets the start on opening day. This by no means makes him the ace of the rotation, as he was mainly brought in to eat innings in the place of Jordan Lyles. But it does affirm that the veteran will lead an otherwise young pitching staff this season. Opening day is right around the corner.