In 33 starts last season with the Athletics and Chicago Cubs, Samardzija went 7-13 with a 2.99 ERA and 202 strikeouts while also making his first All-Star team.
White Sox ace Chris Sale has not pitched during spring training after suffering an avulsion fracture in his right foot while unloading the back of his truck. The team is hopeful Sale will be able to return for an April 12 start.
Manager Robin Ventura said Samardzija’s experience was a key reason for picking him as the starter, ESPN’s Doug Padilla reports.
"It's always an honor for guys to start on Opening Day and Jeff's done it before," Ventura said. "I think even bringing him over here, that was a reason to bring him over here. Chris was going to be the guy and, if not him, then it was going to be Jeff."
The White Sox finished 73-89 last season.
- Paul Palladino