The Boston Red Sox lost Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha.
While they still have left-handed ace Chris Sale and other talented pitchers, the one taking the ball on Opening Day will be a newcomer.
Corey Kluber will draw the Opening Day start for the Red Sox, per manager Alex Cora.
The Opening Day start is more of a symbolic assignment, but it sure means something to Kluber.
The 37-year-old two-time Cy Young award winner spent last season with the Tampa Bay Rays.
There, he had a 4.34 ERA in 164 innings.
His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), however, was a much more palatable 3.57.
It goes to show that Kluber, even though his best years are probably behind him, can still be a serviceable major league starter.
The decision to give Kluber the first start of the season wasn’t entirely popular.
Ya that's terrible it really is…kluber goes from team to team now he shouldn't be starting on opening day for any team let alone red Sox they need to sign a bona fid ace again someone like cole who is always there no matter how bad or good he pitches u no he's gonna be there
— Bruno Santoro (@BrunoContesini6) March 15, 2023
Corey Kluber the ACE of the #RedSox
What are they doing
— just a nigga 🇩🇴 (@YankeesFanDR) March 15, 2023
The Red Sox opening day starter is Corey Kluber?
— Mid Major Chaos Is Coming (@MidMajorMatt) March 15, 2023
However, there are people who recognize the value of veteran leadership and pitching know-how.
Blows my mind that there are fans of baseball out there who just completely dismiss an accomplished player because he's not in his prime anymore. Verlander just won a cy young at 40, it's entirely possible Kluber puts together 1 or 2 more fantastic seasons before he hangs em up
— mark (@Greenmonstah300) March 15, 2023
Kluber had a stretch of five seasons, between 2014 and 2018, in which he finished inside the top ten in the Cy Young voting in the American League.
He was then mostly injured for two years before returning in 2021.
His FIP that year, 3.85, and the one from last year (3.57), are enough proof for us to say he can still help a contender.
Seniority has value in MLB, and giving Kluber the nod over Sale can actually take some pressure off the southpaw, who has been battered by injuries in recent seasons.
The world will not end for Red Sox fans just because a veteran pitcher will take the ball in the first game.NEXT: Red Sox Announce Their Opening Day Starter