Sizemore to make Cactus League debut this weekend

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Grady Sizemore is back. Well, kind of.

According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the oft-injured outfielder is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. Sizemore won’t play center field, but he’ll see two at-bats as the Tribe’s designated hitter in what will be a significant step in his ongoing recovery from microfracture knee surgery.

Sizemore has been taking it easy this spring in Indians camp to avoid setbacks and will probably be placed on the 15-day disabled list once the rest of the roster heads north, but a smooth debut this weekend and a strong finish to the Cactus League schedule could leave him primed for a mid-April return to the major leagues.

Sizemore, 28, hasn’t played in a big league game since May 16, 2010. He made only 128 at-bats all season.

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.