Zac Gallen gets Opening Day nod for Arizona Diamondbacks

Former North Carolina Tar Heels pitcher Zac Gallen broke out last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, putting together an impressive season in 2022. Despite the Diamondbacks struggles out West, Gallen is a bright spot on the roster.

And he will get the Opening Day nod on Thursday.

Gallen has been tabbed as the starter for the first game of the 2023 season as the Diamondbacks will head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers. The pitcher is at the top of the team’s rotation along with Merrill Kelly who pitched for team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

In 31 starts last season, Gallen went 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA and a WHIP of 0.91. He also had 192 strikeouts in 184.0 innings pitched.

While Gallen struggled a bit in the Spring, it’s not a shocker to see him get the Opening Day start to begin the season. This could be a big year for the former Diamond Heel in terms of taking a step forward in his career.

Last season, Gallen finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

And he has the chance to get that started off in a big way against one of the best teams in the NL. He will oppose Julio Urias who gets the start for the Dodgers.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire