Feldman gets the Opening Day nod from Astros
Astros manager Bo Porter made official Monday what everyone had suspected by announcing veteran right-hander Scott Feldman will start on Opening Day for the Astros against the Yankees at Minute Maid Park.
The Opening Day assignment will be the second for Feldman, who signed with Houston on a three-year, $30 million deal in the winter to provide veteran leadership to the Astros’ young rotation. Porter didn’t say how the rotation could shake up beyond Feldman’s April 1 start.
“You look at his track record and the fact he’s a former 17-game winner and the fact that he gives us a great opportunity to win a ballgame each and every time he takes the mound,” Porter said. “He’s a strike-thrower, he’s a competitor.”
Feldman will be the fifth different pitcher to start on Opening Day for the Astros, joining Bud Norris (2013), Wandy Rodriguez (2012), Brett Myers (2011) and Roy Oswalt (2003-10).
The 6-foot-7 Feldman went 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA in 30 starts with the Cubs and Orioles last season. Earlier this spring, he said being the veteran of a young staff probably comes with less pressure considering he’s locked into a contract.
“When you’re always playing for a contract or going year to year or stuff like that, I think it can put a lot of pressure on guys,’ he said. “For me, I don’t put too much pressure on myself to begin with. I try to remember I’m playing a game, and it’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy what I do. Just go out there and try to have fun.”
Feldman made his first 73 career appearances out of the bullpen from 2005-07 before being moved to the rotation in ’08. His best season came in 2009, when he went 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 34 games (31 starts). Feldman is a ground-ball pitcher who allowed only 159 hits in 181 2/3 innings last season with 132 strikeouts and 56 walks.