Towards the beginning of March, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wasn't in the mood to designate an opening-day starter. He had two clear candidates in Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke, but he didn't want to choose back then, and no one can blame him - things change over time, and you don't need to rush with that kind of assignment. There's no benefit at all to designating an opening-day starter early, as opposed to late. Maybe by waiting, you'll even foster some competition!
Roenicke's come up with a name now.
Brewers announce Yovani Gallardo as opening day starter— DKnobler (@DKnobler) March 28, 2012
Did Gallardo earn the honor over Greinke with his spring performance? Hardly. Gallardo's allowed eight runs in 18 innings, with five walks and 16 strikeouts, while Greinke's allowed two runs in just over 12 innings, with one walk and 20 strikeouts. So that sinks in: Zack Greinke has one walk and 20 strikeouts this spring.
So if anything, Greinke's stock has risen more than Gallardo's over the course of the month. But Gallardo had the slightly sexier ERA last season, and probably more importantly, Gallardo was the Brewers' opening-day starter in 2011, and in 2010. This was a decision made out of inertia. Roenicke could have tabbed Greinke, sure, but Gallardo hasn't done anything to lose the honor, right? So the honor he keeps.