MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Williams still debating who will start Opening Day

Scherzer, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Fister, Gonzalez all deserving of honor

Williams still debating who will start Opening Day

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Matt Williams has yet to name his Opening Day starter for April 6 against the Mets at Nationals Park.

It's a tough decision for the skipper because all five starters -- Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez -- deserve to make the start because of what they have accomplished during their careers. Strasburg has been the club's Opening Day start the past three years.

What goes into the decision on who is on the mound come Opening Day?

"A lot goes into it," Williams said. "There's matchups. There is health in the spring. If anybody is a little bit cranky, we want to make sure we back off in that regard. There are three off-days leading up to the regular season. So if we have a hiccup here or there with anybody -- we saw that with Doug last year. … All those things go into it. Track record goes into, knowledge of the [the opponents]."

For Williams, he has five pitchers who can beat an opposing team on any given day.

"How they line up is irrelevant when you get past the first [turn through the] rotation anyway," Williams said. "But it's an honor for the guy that's gets chosen [for the Opening Day] start. Everybody wants to get off on the right foot in your first game -- great momentum and all those wonderful things. But if you don't win that first game, it doesn't mean you are dead. You go to the next one."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.