TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The last time Trevor Cahill made an opening day start, he was pitching for the Oakland Athletics. Now Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus has named Cahill as the opening day starter for the March 28 game in Oakland against the A’s.
This is Cahill’s first season with the Angels. He was 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for the Athletics last year. It will be Cahill’s second opening day start — he also did so in 2011 for the Athletics.
“Any time you can pitch the first game of the season, it’s special,” Cahill said. “I think the biggest thing is, as we all know, it’s one of many and not worth any more than any of the other ones. My goal is to go out there and pitch like I normally do and don’t try to do too much.”
The rest of the Angels’ rotation will be Matt Harvey, Felix Pena, Tyler Skaggs and Jaime Barria, Ausmus said.
“We’re kind of juggling with injuries and weren’t sure and ultimately, I thought Cahill was the best fit,” Ausmus said.
Cahill played for the A’s from 2009-11 and again last season.
“It’ll be weird going back there. I’ve never played there as a visitor,” Cahill said. “I went there one time with the Royals two years ago but I was on the DL. That’s the only other time I’ve been in the visitor’s clubhouse. It’ll be fun. Day game, too, which is weird. I have to make sure I don’t assume it’s a night game. I’ve done that before.”
Some of the other Angels have had to deal with minor injuries this spring. Harvey was slowed because of a glute strain while Skaggs has been dealing with left forearm fatigue. Another candidate, Andrew Heaney, was expected to open the season on the injured list because of inflammation in his left elbow. Cahill has been healthy.
“That plays into it somewhat,” Ausmus said. “He’s made a start there before. It does line up Harvey for opening day in Anaheim.”
The Angels’ home opener will be April 4 against the Texas Rangers.