Sep 26, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy (32) pitches to the Seattle Mariners in the 1st inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Who's Your Opening Day Starter?

Well, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin already knows who will be his Opening Day starter in Tokyo. It may only be January, but according to Oakland’s skipper, pitcher Brandon McCarthy will get the nod to open the season for the A’s in their Tokyo series against the Mariners.

Melvin also noted that the recently acquired Bartolo Colon will get the nod in the second game of the opening series, which starts on March 28th. The remainder of Oakland’s rotation remains one big mystery.

Dallas Braden is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, but could be ready by the start of the season. Beyond McCarthy, Colon, and Braden, though, Melvin faces some uncertainty with the remainder of the starting rotation.

The team has plenty of options, though. The A’s could opt to go “young” with this year’s rotation, with Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, and a few others acquired this winter in Billy Beane’s massive overhaul potentially filling out Oakland’s rotation. Despite the uncertainty with the back end of the rotation, the A’s primary strength this year should again be their pitching.

Offensively, the team still doesn’t pack much of a punch. The team still has the makings for a strong presence on the mound, though. The guys acquired in the Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez deals could make an impact this season, but given the team’s low expectations, there’s no need to rush those young arms.

It’ll be interesting, though, to see who Melvin decides to pencil in this year. Barring any injuries, McCarthy will have the opportunity to start things off for the A’s on the mound. Given the team’s recent shake-up, McCarthy is clearly the best choice to open up the 2012 season for the A’s.

He went 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 games with the A’s last year. He also posted a 2.86 FIP with 6.49 K/9 rate over 170.2 innings as well. Based on those numbers, McCarthy definitely deserves the opportunity to open up the season for the Athletics. The guy also three five complete games last year. Is there really anyone else who deserves it more?

Where Bob Melvin goes from there, though, is anyone’s guess.

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Tags: A's Rumors A's Starting Rotation Bartolo Colon Brad Peacock Brandon McCarthy Brett Anderson Dallas Braden MLB Opening Day 2012 Oakland A's Oakland A's Opening Day Starter Oakland Athletics Opening Day Starter San Francisco Chronicle SF Gate SFGate.com Tokyo

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