Webb to resume throwing program Monday

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Brandon Webb is expected to restart his throwing program on Monday with a game of catch, according to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro.  The right-hander had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder back in late March and has been taking it easy since.

“We all want it to go faster,” D’Backs manager A.J. Hinch said Saturday. “As we’ve seen with Chris
Young in San Diego and Jeff Francis in Colorado, it’s a
tedious process to get back to 100 percent.”

The D’Backs are hoping Webb will be able to return by June 1, but he’s had his fair share of setbacks since undergoing shoulder surgery last year and it remains to be seen if he’ll hit his new target date.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.