Shields officially named opening day starter
The Rays made it official today that James Shields will be their opening day starter.
Shields will make his third consecutive opening day start, the first Ray to do so. Manager Joe Maddon said Matt Garza, who was also under consideration for the April 6 assignment, will start the second game. They haven't decided yet whether Jeff Niemann or David Price will start the third game, against Baltimore on April 8, and the fourth, against the Yankees on April 9.
"We feel very good about him being the opening day starter,'' Maddon said. "We feel as though he's earned the right to maintain that position. He was very excited and very grateful about it.''
Shields is throwing a simulated game under cover here at the Charlotte Sports Park as rain wiped out his scheduled start against the Phillies.