Cubs Spring Training

Craig Counsell reveals starting pitcher for Cubs' Wrigley Field opener


MESA, ARIZONA – MARCH 14: Shota Imanaga #18 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a spring training game at Sloan Park on March 14, 2024 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Chicago Cubs manager Craig Counsell had already announced his starting pitcher for the season opener against the Texas Rangers, but he’s made more news with the hurler he’ll hand the ball for the home opener at Wrigley Field.

Justin Steele is still in line to start on Opening Day despite taking a line drive off his leg during a Friday Cactus League start, and Counsell told reporters, including Meghan Montemurro and Mark Gonzales, that Kyle Hendricks and Jordan Wicks will both get starts in the series vs. Texas.

When the Cubs return home, Counsell has revealed that it will be Shota Imanaga making his MLB regular season debut as the North Siders kick off their home schedule at Wrigley Field.

Javier Assad is in line to get the second start in the series vs. the Colorado Rockies, according to the Cubs’ skipper.

Imanaga has started three games for the Cubs this spring after signing a two-year contract during the offseason. He has struck out 19 batters and scattered 10 hits in 9.2 innings of work, posting a 4.66 ERA for the North Siders.

In 24 starts in Japan last season, Imanaga posted a 7-5 record and a 2.66 ERA for Yokohama. He struck out 188 batters in 159 innings while walking just 24.

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