Minor, who was 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 28 starts in 2018, is in his eighth season in the majors and second with the Rangers.
“It might sound funny but I think that’s what guys strive to be,” Minor said. “I’ve always been labeled a No. 5 or a No. 3 or 4. I feel like I can be an ace and this year I want to show it.”
The Rangers open against the Chicago Cubs at 3:05 p.m. March 28 at Globe Life Park.
Minor, who turned 31 in December, hasn’t started an Opening Day game before. He’ll face Cubs’ left-hander Jon Lester.
“I feel like he has earned that,” Woodward said. “The way he pitched last year, the way he came into camp, his attitude. He wants to be the No. 1 guy and I feel it’s important that he is. He has set the tone in Spring Training, with his attitude, with his work ethic, his desire to make this team a champion. Pretty remarkable in my eyes and I’m really happy to hand him that ball on Opening Day.”
Minor thanked Woodward for showing confidence in him.
“It’s something every off-season you go into to work hard to be that guy and this year I thought there was a chance, but there are a lot of guys in there that could be the Opening Day guy,” he said. “It feels good that Woody had the confidence in me.”