Happy Opening Day CurveBall Blog readers. Today is the day that your team is in first place, and after tomorrow, there’s still a 50% chance that your team is still in first place! They say “you’re only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher” and for nearly all of the MLB teams, Opening Day is the time to display the best you’ve got. Here’s a list of all of the Opening Day starters for the 2011 season:
The Pirates will look to RHP Kevin Correia to get the job done opposite Ryan Dempster when the Pirates open their season on Friday afternoon. Correia was selected in the fourth round by the San Francisco Giants in 2002 and will be pitching for the Pirates for the first time this season. Correia went 10-10 last season for the San Diego Padres with a 5.40 ERA. His best season was in 2009 with San Diego when he went 12-11 with a 3.91.
Opening Day Fact of the Day: In 2007, Phillies pitcher Brett Myers threw both the first and last pitches of the Phillies regular season. He was the team’s Opening Day starter, and through injuries, became the team’s closer by season’s end and made the final pitch of the season in that new role.
The Curve Opening day starter from last season, Michael Crotta, as blogged yesterday, has made the Pirates Opening Day Roster as a relief pitcher.
The only player to start an Opening Day game for the Curve and for the Pirates was Ian Snell, who started the opener for the Curve in 2004 and the Pirates in 2008.
From the 2011 Curve Media Guide, here are how the Curve starting pitchers have fared in Opening Day:
As reported by both the Altoona Mirror and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, RHP Michael Crotta will become the 82nd former Altoona Curve player to reach the major leagues when the season opens for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday in Chicago. It has been discovered that Crotta, the Curve’s Opening Day starter in 2010, will make the Pirates 25-man roster as a relief pitcher.
Crotta was selected by the Pirates in the 17th round of the 2006 draft out of Florida Atlantic University. The 6-foot-6, 210 pound right-handed pitcher got off to a great start with Williamsport as he made his debut and was already in Altoona making an appearance for the Curve the very next season. Crotta spent 2008 with High-A Lynchburg and the entire 2009 season with the Altoona Curve as he made 27 starts with a 4.76 ERA. Crotta was then named the Opening Day starter for the Curve in 2010, and he wasn’t in Altoona for long. After just four starts and a 1.78 ERA, Crotta got the call to play for Triple-A Indianapolis. With his time in Indianapolis, combined with a Spring Training where he went 12.1 IP allowing just two earned runs, Crotta will reach his dream of pitching in the Major Leagues to start the 2011 season.
Last season, Alex Presley made his trek from Altoona-to-Pittsburgh in the same season and with the likes of Jeff Locke and Bryan Morris rumored to beginning the season in Altoona, there will be little surprise for that feat to be accomplished again.
Stay tuned to http://www.AltoonaCurve.com and this blog site as the 2011 Altoona Curve roster will be announced in the upcoming days. The season begins April 7th in Erie and the Curve Home Opener at Blair County Ballpark is April 14th at 6:30 pm.