The Arizona Diamondbacks are ready to open the season in familiar fashion: with Mad Bum on the mound.
Madison Bumgarner was tabbed by manager Torey Lovullo to make his second straight opening day start for the Diamondbacks on Thursday at San Diego.
The 31-year-old four-time All-Star struggled last season — his first in Arizona — going 1-4 with a 6.48 ERA. He was 2-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three spring starts, including allowing six earned runs against Cincinnati on Friday.
But Bumgarner, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract before last season, will still lead off a Diamondbacks rotation that includes Merrill Kelly, Caleb Smith, Taylor Widener and Luke Weaver. This will be the seventh opening day start in Bumgarner's career after doing so five times with San Francisco.
The Yankees also are setting their rotation, announcing Sunday that Corey Kluber will follow ace Gerrit Cole against Toronto.
Kluber, who signed a one-year, $11 million contract with New York, has thrown one inning in a regular-season game since being hit on the right forearm by a comebacker on May 1, 2019, and none since tearing a muscle in his right shoulder in his Texas debut last July 26.
“We’ll be a little conservative out of the gates with him from a pitch count standpoint,” manager Aaron Boone said of the 34-year-old righty and two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Meanwhile, Jameson Taillon will be skipped the first time through the Yankees' rotation. He hasn’t pitched since May 1, 2019, while rehabilitating from his second Tommy John surgery that Aug. 13.