Mikolas will start on Opening Day in Milwaukee, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He will oppose Jhoulys Chacin of the Brewers on March 28 in Miller Park, and his second start figures to come April 3 in Pittsburgh. One of the big selling points with Mikolas is that he could eclipse 200 innings for the second year in a row, and starting on Opening Day will only help him in that quest.
Mikolas allowed five earned runs on eight hits over five innings in a 5-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Braves on Tuesday. He struck out two. The right-hander cruised through his first two spring starts before Tuesday's debacle, with the five runs he allowed serving the initial blemishes on his ERA during exhibition play. Mikolas is already slated to serve as the Opening Day starter, and one redeeming quality of his performance Tuesday was that he significantly built up his workload by matching the number of innings he'd logged in his first two outings combined. The 30-year-old likely figures in for two more Grapefruit League appearances before taking the hill against the Brewers to kick off the 2019 season March 28.
Mikolas pitched three innings and didn't allow a run on five hits and a walk Thursday against the Mets. Mikolas has yet to surrender a run through two starts, although he's surprisingly struck out just one batter through five frames. The punchouts will undoubtedly start to accumulate as he nears midseason form. The 30-year-old right-hander will be leaned on heavily by the Cardinals once again this season, and he should be highly motivated to build off a successful 2018 campaign after agreeing to a four-year, $68 million contract extension Tuesday.
Mikolas signed a four-year, $68 million extension with the Cardinals on Tuesday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. After impressing in his first season with St. Louis, the Cardinals decided to lock up Mikolas -- who was originally set to become a free agent after the 2019 campaign -- through 2023, rewarding him with a nice raise in the process. The 30-year-old went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 32 starts (200.2 innings) in 2018 and is slated to serve as the team's Opening Day starter against the Brewers on March 28.
Manager Mike Shildt said Saturday that Mikolas would serve as the Cardinals' starter for the team's regular-season opener March 28 versus the Brewers, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Shildt made the announcement just hours before Mikolas was scheduled to take the hill for the Cardinals' Grapefruit League opener in Miami. The selection of Mikolas doesn't come as much of a surprise after the right-hander performed brilliantly in his return to North America in 2018 after a detour in Japan, compiling a 2.83 ERA across 200.2 innings. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, general manager Mike Girsch also noted that it's a possibility the Cardinals will reach an extension with Mikolas prior to the regular season. Mikolas will be headed for free agency next winter while he finishes out the final season of his two-year, $15.5 million contract.