Cleveland Guardians name Shane Bieber Opening Day starter for fifth consecutive season

Shane Bieber has been named the Cleveland Guardians' Opening Day starter for the fifth season in a row, tying a franchise record set by Corey Kluber.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians
Los Angeles Dodgers v Cleveland Guardians / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

As expected, the Cleveland Guardians are rolling with Shane Bieber as their 2024 Opening Day starter, the fifth consecutive season in which Bieber gets the nod.

With this fifth-straight Opening Day start, Bieber ties a franchise record, set by Stan Coveleski (1917 to 1921) and tied right before Bieber by Corey Kluber, who started Opening Day from 2015 to 2019.

Bieber has pitched well this spring, giving up four runs in 13 1/3 innings of work. Perhaps most importantly, there has been a notable increase in Bieber's velocity. It might stick around during the season, but it's a nice sign heading into games that count.

Shane Bieber Has Been Incredible on Opening Day

In his previous four Opening Day starts, Bieber has been tremendous, giving up just three earned runs in 22 2/3 innings, striking out 33 and walking four. He's pitched an Opening Day in the throes of COVID, in a snowstorm in Detroit, and, now, as a member of the record books.

This, too, could prove to be the final Opening Day start for Bieber with the Guardians. He'll be a free agent at the end of the year, and it's unclear where things stand between both sides when it comes to the possibility of a contract extension.

If anything, fans should be more preoccupied with whether or not Bieber even finishes the season in Cleveland. If the Guardians are in contention, Bieber will stick around for 2024, but if Cleveland can't even compete in the absurdly weak AL Central, Bieber is as good as gone by the trade deadline.

But for now, let's just take a step back and appreciate Bieber, who will go down as one of the best pitchers in franchise history no matter what happens after this season.