Travis Wood to start home opener

MESA, Ariz. – Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria announced his starting rotation for the first week of the season, tabbing lefty Travis Wood to pitch in the home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, April 4.

Previously, it was announced that Jeff Samardzija will pitch the season opener in Pittsburgh on March 31, followed by Edwin Jackson and then Jason Hammel before the Cubs come home to face the Phillies. Renteria likes the matchup of the southpaw Wood against a Phillies lineup that features dangerous lefties, including veterans Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Renteria didn’t declare a starter after the top four, but all indications are the Cubs will need a fifth one Sunday, April 6. That could be lefty Chris Rusin throwing against the Phillies for the same reason Wood is throwing Friday in that series. Carlos Villanueva is also a candidate.

Wood was the Cubs' lone All-Star last season.