Kris Medlen might have already established himself as the rotation’s ace. But as the Braves approach what has the potential to be a memorable season, they have decided to give their veteran Tim Hudson the honor of being their Opening Day starter.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez announced Thursday afternoon that Hudson will be on the mound when the Braves open the season against the Phillies on April 1 at Turner Field. This will be Hudson’s sixth career Opening Day start and third with the Braves.

Though Medlen proved to be baseball’s top pitcher while posting a 0.97 ERA in 13 starts during the final two months of last season, it has been assumed this Opening Day honor would go to Hudson, who has been a key part of Atlanta’s rotation since joining the Braves in 2005.

While Medlen has made just 30 career starts, Hudson has made the fourth-most starts (222) in Atlanta history. The only pitchers who have compiled more since the club moved from Milwaukee in 1966 are Phil Niekro, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux.

Both of Hudson’s previous two Opening Day starts for the Braves, in 2006 and 2008, occurred on the road. This year he will have the opportunity to share the experience with his family and friends, who still reside approximately two hours south of Turner Field in and around his native town of Phenix City, Ala.