Ricky Nolasco Given Opening Day Nod

Updated: March 31, 2017

One more piece to the puzzle has now been figured out. The Angels recently announced that Ricky Nolasco is the pick to pitch for the Halos on Opening Day. The ball club’s opener is on Monday evening against the Oakland Athletics at 7:05 p.m. PT.

Nolasco has performed rather well for the team in spring. He put up a 3.52 ERA over 15 1/3 innings. Additionally, he struck out a total of 10 batters and held them to a combined .232 batting average.

Nolasco may not be the one everyone first thought of. After all, Matt Shoemaker originally appeared to be in line to make the start. In lieu of Monday, the Shoe is slated to rock ‘n’ roll on Tuesday night. Garrett Richards was another hurler many deemed worthy of the nod. Instead, Richards is currently projected to be on the mound for his season debut in Wednesday’s contest.

According to MLB.com writer Maria Guardado, this will be Nolasco’s fourth career Opening Day appearance. The other three times it occurred were when he was a member of the Twins and Marlins. Nolasco recently commented on being selected for the distinction.

“‘Obviously, it’s a great honor,’ Nolasco said following the Angels’ 3-2 win over the Dodgers at Angel Stadium. ‘Now I get to go out there and try to do everything I can to come home with a win.’”

Manager Mike Scioscia also discussed his decision to pick Ricky above the others when asked. While several candidates were considered for Monday night’s showdown, the skipper explained the logic that came into play.

“‘Coming into camp, I think there’s a number of guys that we looked at,’ manager Mike Scioscia said. ‘But as we got through camp and considering how well Ricky is throwing the ball, how well he finished last year for us, where Shoe was and [with] Garrett coming back from his injury, I think Ricky will handle the Opening Day hoopla and go out there and hopefully give us a good chance to win.’”

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