"[Moreland] did a good job against left-handers in Spring Training," Washington said. "We're going to face left-handers in Tampa Bay, and you may not see him. But this is Opening Day. I feel he deserves it."
The Phillies are scheduled to pitch right-handers A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick in the final two games of their Opening Series against the Rangers. The Rangers then open a three-game series against the Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field. The Rangers are scheduled to face right-hander Jake Odorizzi on Friday, left-hander David Price on Saturday, and right-hander Alex Cobb on Sunday.
Moreland did not start on Opening Day in 2011 against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, or in 2012 against White Sox left-hander John Danks. But he was 5-for-12 against left-handers in Spring Training.
"It's Opening Day," Moreland said. "I'm just happy to be out there and get the opportunity to play and help the team win."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.