Before Friday’s game against the Cardinals, Mets manager Jerry Manuel seemed to backpedal about the possibility of moving Jose Reyes to the No. 3 spot in the batting order anytime soon, according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
“I’m going to reserve that a little bit until he feels comfortable,
until he feels good about it,” Manuel said. “It’s just a matter of
putting some things in place with the pieces that we have.”
Sounds like some lobbying by Jeff Francoeur paid off. Angel Pagan would be the obvious replacement in the leadoff spot, however he has just one hit in his last 14 at-bats while Gary Matthews Jr. is, well, Gary Matthews Jr.
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.