The 2023 season is almost upon us.
Spring training wraps up on Tuesday, and teams will finally break camp with their Opening Day ballclubs.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are heading into the new season with higher expectations thanks to their crop of young talent.
That group includes right-hander Zac Gallen, who is getting the nod to start Opening Day on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In fact, it will be Gallen’s first career Opening Day start.
On Monday, the young right-hander stopped by MLB Network to discuss his unique opportunity and what it means to him to take the ball for the team’s season opener.
"It's a distinguished honor so to have that opportunity, I'm super excited."@zacgallen23 previews his first #OpeningDay start with the @Dbacks and reveals whether or not he considers himself underrated. 🤔@mikelowell25 | @Plakata | #MLBTonight pic.twitter.com/QmKha4Lx8U
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 28, 2023
Gallen stated that an Opening Day start is a distinguished honor and something that he’s very excited for.
The 27-year-old put together a strong season in 2022, winning 12 games in 31 starts and posting a 2.54 ERA over 184 innings of work, while also striking out 192 batters.
When asked about how he would try to replicate his 2022 success, Gallen simply stated that the goal is not to necessarily recreate that, and that removing himself from that mindset is ultimately going to help him as he prepares for a new season.
Gallen also stated that he considers himself underrated, but he says that it has given him a chip on his shoulder and a little extra motivation to compete each day.
He said that he had a good feel for his pitches for much of the season and that it ultimately helped him reach new heights as he finished the year on a positive note.NEXT: MLB Fans React To Today's Arizona Diamondbacks News