A four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion, San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is probably not a candidate for an opener. But Bumgarner made sure to let his manager Bruce Bochy know that he isn’t a fan of baseball’s opener trend, popularized by the Tampa Bay Rays last year.

During an appearance at the San Francisco Giants FanFest on Saturday, Bochy said he received a text from Bumgarner after Farhan Zaidi, the team’s new president of baseball operations, said the team might make use of an opener in 2019.

“If you use an opener in my game, I’m walking right out of the ballpark,” the text read.

Openers are used to cover up for starting pitchers. By deploying a middle reliever to “open” the game, the typical starter is prevented from being overexposed by facing the opponent’s best hitters too many times.

Bumgarner, 29, has averaged more than 6.5 innings per start since 2011, and he has not had an ERA above 3.37 in his career.

Despite missing the first two months of the 2018 season, Bumgarner went 6-7 with a 3.26 ERA, striking out 109 batters in 129 2/3 innings. He held opponents to a .193 batting average in their first plate appearance. 

Seems like it’s pretty unlikely the Giants will use an opener in front of Bumgarner.

The Giants finished fourth in the NL West at 73-89 in 2018. They will open the 2019 regular season on Thursday, March 28 against the San Diego Padres, and Bumgarner has been announced as the starter.

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