Taillon named Opening Day starter for Pirates

Archer to start home opener vs. Cardinals on April 1

February 16th, 2019

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced Saturday that right-hander will be the Bucs' Opening Day starter when they take on the Reds in Cincinnati on March 28.

Hurdle said will start the Pirates' second game, followed by in the series finale and then in Pittsburgh's home opener against the Cardinals on April 1.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

This will be the first Opening Day start for Taillon, who emerged as the Pirates' de facto ace last season as he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA and set career-best totals in strikeouts, innings and FIP. The former No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft compiled 4.7 WAR, per Baseball-Reference, which tied for fifth among National League starters. Pittsburgh's Opening Day starter last year was , whom the club traded to the White Sox on Dec. 11. The last Bucs pitcher to start multiple Opening Days consecutively was from 2014-16.

Archer was the other logical choice to get the Opening Day start after the Pirates acquired him in a trade with Tampa Bay last summer for pitcher , outfielder and Minor League pitcher Shane Baz. The two-time All-Star went 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA over 10 starts for Pittsburgh down the stretch.