Edinson Volquez scratched from Sunday start; bullpen bound?

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After Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted earlier this week that Edinson Volquez could be removed from the starting rotation earlier this week, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reported this afternoon that he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday.

According to the team’s Twitter feed, Travis Wood will start against the Cubs on Sunday while Homer Bailey faces the Brewers on Monday. In other words, the struggling Volquez is at minimum being skipped. With Aaron Harang expected to return from the disabled list Tuesday, he could be losing his spot in the starting rotation altogether.

Yesterday, I mentioned how several pitchers have enjoyed success after Tommy John surgery. It was a selective list, to be sure, as we also see pitchers who can be somewhat erratic post-op. Command has never been Volquez’s strong suit to begin with, but he has a disturbing 6.17 ERA and 36/27 K/BB over 35 innings since returning from the disabled list last month. With the Reds trying to hang on in the National League Central, this is no time to mess around.

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.