Even though Kris Medlen is essentially the de facto ace of the staff, Fredi Gonzalez named TIm Hudson to start on the mound for the Atlanta Braves on Opening Day against the Philadelphia Phillies, braves.com reports.
The Opening Day start will be Hudson's third with the Braves and sixth for his career. His first two Braves Opening Day starts – in 2006 and 2008 – were both on the road, but he finally gets the honor in front of the Atlanta faithful at Turner Field.
Hudson is 1-0 with a 3.41 ERA in his previous five Opening Day starts. He would have likely started on Opening Day last season had he not been recovering from back surgery, so Tommy Hanson started on the hill. Derek Lowe was Atlanta's Opening Day starter from 2009-11.
Hudson went 16-7 with a 3.62 ERA last season. He threw up a 3.99 ERA in five starts against the Phillies, despite allowing two earned runs or fewer in three of those outings.
Experience may have helped Hudson win the nod over Medlen. Medlen only has 30 career Major League starts, while Hudson is fourth in Atlanta Braves history with 222, behind only Phil Niekro, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux.
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, MLB, Tim Hudson