Rays name Chris Archer starter for Opening Day

Chris Archer is 20-19 with a 3.39 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 61 appearances (59 starts) with the Rays.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A new Tampa Bay Rays starter for Opening Day has been named: Right-hander Chris Archer.

Kevin Cash announced the choice to reporters on Thursday in Port Charlotte, Florida. The move to start Archer against the Orioles on April 6 at Tropicana Field comes as little surprise after right-hander Alex Cobb, named the Rays’ Opening Day starter earlier in the spring, developed right forearm tendinitis following a start against the Phillies on March 17.

Archer, 26, is 20-19 with a 3.39 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 61 appearances (59 starts) since making his debut with the Rays in 2012. He was 10-9 with a 3.33 ERA and 173 strikeouts in 32 starts with Tampa Bay last season.

Early next month, Archer will lead a rotation that figures to include right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Nathan Karns, with other names to be determined in the coming weeks. The Rays are hopeful Cobb, left-hander Drew Smyly (shoulder tendinitis) and right-hander Alex Colome (pneumonia) can return by the end of April.

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