Link-O-Rama: The legend of Joey Gathright

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* Not only can new Red Sox pinch-runner Joey Gathright jump over parked cars, he probably could have snapped Julian Tavarez’s neck like a twig a few years ago and instead restrained himself.
* Mariano Rivera could be unavailable for a few games because of a strained groin, which has apparently bothered him since mid-August. Rivera, of course, hasn’t allowed a run since suffering the injury.
* On the other hand, Brian Bannister may have to shut things down for the season after trying to pitch through shoulder fatigue for the past six weeks. Bannister was once 7-7 with a 3.59 ERA, but has gone 0-5 while allowing 34 runs in 31 innings since.
* Andy Marte is finally showing some signs of what once made him one of the top prospects in baseball, hitting .264/.320/.448 in 25 games with the Indians. That may not look like much, but prior to last month he’d hit just .211/.265/.337 through 174 games as a major leaguer.
* Garrett Jones’ homer yesterday was the 10,000th in Pirates history.
* If the Jon Garland trade doesn’t work out for them, the Dodgers still have a good-looking option for their fifth starter.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.