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Ian Kennedy To Start For Arizona Diamondbacks On Opening Day

Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks is coming off an outstanding season where he won 21 games and only losing four, posting a 2.88 ERA pitching 222 innings, all while striking out 198 and issuing only 55 walks. Kennedy came up fourth in the NL Cy Young voting, with Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers finishing first, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies going second, and Cliff Lee of the Phillies at third overall.

This great season came after the D-Backs decided to let Kennedy start Opening Day of the 2011 season. It makes sense to put him right back up out there to start this season as well. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic files this report.

So Gibson made official what everyone pretty much already knew, announcing that Ian Kennedy will get the ball on Opening Day, April 5, against the Giants at Chase Field.

“If Ian is healthy, he’s going to start on Opening Day,” Gibson said. “Why wouldn’t he?”

Exactly. He earned it on the basis of his impressive 2011 season. That said, Gibson left himself some room to maneuver in the event Kennedy doesn’t look right in spring training.

“If he’s throwing the ball good, that will be the case,” Gibson said. “If he isn’t, I’ll change my mind. If I think it’s better he doesn’t start Opening Day, I’ll change my mind. If everything goes as planned, he’ll be on the mound.”

The Diamondbacks hope that Kennedy can lead a rotation with Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders and Trevor Cahill back into the postseason for a second straight year.

To discuss Kennedy and the Diamondbacks, check out AZ Snake Pit.