SARASOTA, FLA. — Though Chris Tillman seemed to leave the door slightly ajar for a possible Opening Day start during an interview Wednesday morning, No. 2 starter Kevin Gausman appears to be the most logical choice to face the Toronto Blue Jays on April 3.
Manager Buck Showalter won't be announcing that decision for a while, but Gausman is generally considered to be the pitcher right behind Tillman in the rotation and he ranked second on the team behind Tillman in victories as a starter last season.
He said has dreamed of being a guy who gets the ball on Opening Day, but not under the circumstances that might lead to that this year.
"I wish it was a different setting and why it might happen was different," Gausman said. "I don't want him to be on the DL, but yeah, obviously it would be something that would be pretty exciting for me and hopefully a first for me of many.
"Obviously, it stinks that he's down, but we've got a lot of really good arms here -- as you saw yesterday on the first day of camp. We have a lot of guys who are young and able and can step in. ... I wish it didn't happen, but if he comes back stronger and better, he's able to be that guy for us like he has been."
Gausman said that anyone starting on Opening Day other than Tillman would know who was supposed to be out there.
"He's done it three years in a row," Gausman said. "Everybody knows he's our guy. He's the guy that we look to to throw a lot of meaningful innings. He's been that guy for a long time."