I highly doubt we've seen the last of the opener with the Twins... Pineda is a clear candidate if he continues to struggle the second and third times through the order, as pointed to above, and the odds that all 5 rotational guys are gonna stay healthy for the whole year are minimal, so even if they only miss one or two starts we'll probably open for guys like Stewart, Gonsalves, Littell, etc. I'm guessing the only reason we didn't for Stewart's start earlier this year was because our bullpen was shortened. Two of those guys are much more effective with the opener as well.
Stewart as starter: 5 GS, 22.1 Inn, 6.85 ERA, 1.97 WHIP
Stewart as primary pitcher: 4 G, 20.1 Inn, 1.33 ERA, 0.93 WHIP
Gonsalves as starter: 4GS, 12.1 Inn, 11.68 ERA, 3.00 WHIP
Gonsalves as primary pitcher: 3 G, 12.1 Inn 1.46 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Numbers speak for themselves. Rays still use it once or twice in their regular 5 man rotation and are very good.
Pretty small sample size here.In Stewart's 4 starts last year, he never had a babip below .333, while in his 4 primary appearances he never had a babip above .222.Since he had two appearances in each category against Detroit, it seems a lot more like chance than proof Stewart is now Cy Young so long as he doesn't have to start.
Same thing with Gonsalves--in his starts he never had a babip below .294, and hada game at .500 and one at .857(!).Meanwhile, in his primary appearances, he had one at .273, while the other two were .071 and .000.
It's way too early to state with any kind of certainty that the only thing keeping Stewart and Gonsalves from being MLB regulars (and stars, at that) is an unwillingness to allow them to skip first innings.