Jair Jurrjens pronounced himself “ready to go” after throwing six innings of two-run ball last night in a rehab start at Triple-A and is now scheduled to return from a strained oblique muscle Saturday against the Mets.
Jurrjens threw 81 pitches in his rehab outing, allowing four hits and striking out three, and afterward told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he “didn’t even think about” the oblique injury.
He missed the final two weeks of last season and the playoffs with a knee injury and began this year on the disabled list, so Jurrjens hasn’t started a big-league game in seven months.
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.