Francisco Liriano is set to start on opening day for Pittsburgh, making him the first Pirates pitcher in quite a while to draw the honor two years in a row.
Manager Clint Hurdle made the announcement Tuesday. The Pirates begin the regular season on April 6 at Cincinnati.
Liriano will be the first Pirates pitcher to start on opening day in consecutive seasons since Oliver Perez in 2005-06.
"We just want to put to rest that we've had nine different opening day pitchers in a row," Hurdle said. "We wanted to settle down and kick that one to the curb."
The 31-year-old Liriano emerged as the Pirates' ace in 2013, when he went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and led the franchise to its first postseason appearance in two decades. In 2014, while dealing with groin and oblique injuries, he overcame a 1-7 start to finish 7-10 with a 3.38 ERA.
"Frankie has earned it, in our minds," Hurdle said.
Darvish has surgery
Yu Darvish had his season-ending elbow surgery Tuesday, when the torn ligament from the Rangers ace's right arm was replaced with a tendon from his forearm.
The Rangers said Dr. James Andrews reported elbow ligament-replacement surgery went as expected, with no complications. The pitcher likely will be sidelined until early 2016.
Clark backs Rose
During a lengthy chat Tuesday morning, Tony Clark, the former Tiger and current MLB Players Association president, mentioned that hit king Pete Rose has served his time and should garner some consideration from the commissioner's office to be reinstated.
"I would love to see Pete Rose reinstated," Clark said. "He made a decision, he made a decision that was not the right decision. He made a decision that he has paid a price for."
On Monday, first-year MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that Rose formally requested that his lifetime ban from baseball for gambling be lifted.
And Tuesday, Clark said he felt that Rose, who is baseball's all-time leader in hits with 4,256, had done his time and served his penance.
Rose, 73, agreed to a ban from baseball in 1990, after accusations that he gambled on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds.
"I would love for there to be a consideration made on behalf of the commissioner's office that would take that into account," Clark said.
Clark, who is in his second year as the players association president, said that while the MLBPA doesn't have any input on whether or not Rose will be reinstated, "It is something that as a past member of the players association, we obviously pay attention to."