Friday, February 25, 2011
Starting opener? That's news to Buehrle
By Doug Padilla
Mark Buehrle will make his ninth Opening Day start on April 1 against Cleveland.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Good news apparently doesn't travel very fast.
White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle said Friday morning that he hasn't heard anything about being the Opening Day starter, one day after manager Ozzie Guillen said the left-hander would be his man to start the season.
“I don't know I can count on that until I get the word from him or [pitching coach Don Cooper] so it's not breaking news until I get something from him,” Buehrle said.
Buehrle admitted that with the way the starters are lined up this spring, it wasn't hard to deduce that he was being aimed toward Opening Day on April 1 at Cleveland.
“If it is [going to happen] it's a great honor,” Buehrle said. “Hopefully I'll stay healthy down here and get out there and hopefully I'll do better than the last time I started in Cleveland. Because that was an inning and two-thirds and that was kind of rough.”
At the start of the 2008 season, Buehrle faced off with the Indians' CC Sabathia, in what was expected to be a pitchers' duel. The Indians ended up winning the game 10-8.
For now, he will just work on building arm strength for the season. He is scheduled to make his first appearance of the spring on March 1 at Camelback Ranch against the Brewers. His goal is to make sure he can at least go seven and possibly eight innings when the season begins.
“I think it's just like an All-Star appearance,” Buehrle said of pitching on Opening Day. “A lot of people say it gets old, but I don't know how it can get old. It's a buildup for all of the offseason moves you make.
“It's the one game [in Cleveland] that's sold out. It's kind of like a playoff game and after that it kind of goes downhill because nobody every shows up. It's going to be a great atmosphere, and we'll try to get us started on the right foot.”
Barring any rain outs or unexpected rotation changes, Buehrle's second start of the season is lined up for April 6 at Cleveland. He wouldn't make his first home start until April 11 against the Oakland A's.