Fort Lauderdale, FL (Sports Network) - On the second day of spring training Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles announced that recently re-acquired righthander Sidney Ponson will be their Opening Day starter.
It will be the first-career Opening Day start for the 27-year-old Ponson, who re-signed with the team for three years in the off-season after being traded by the Orioles to San Francisco in July.
"I'm happy to have it," Ponson said. "But I can't just sit [around] and wait for it to come. I have to work hard and be ready for that game."
Ponson went 14-6 with a 3.77 ERA in 21 starts for Baltimore last season and his domination of American League hitters resulted in four complete games and a better than 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio (100/43).
His success, however, was limited while learning how to pitch in the National League. With the Giants, Ponson posted a similar ERA at 3.71, but went just 3-6 in 10 starts.
In his one postseason appearance with San Francisco, Ponson was unable to hold an early 4-1 lead and left after allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings of work.
The Giants traded three young pitchers, lefthanders Damian Moss and Ryan Hannaman, and righthander Kurt Ainsworth, for Ponson at the trade deadline.
Ponson started his career with Baltimore in 1998, posting a 58-65 record in 177 career games with the Orioles and Giants.