Out since April 20 with a shoulder injury, Scott Rolen has been activated from the disabled list and will be in the Reds’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Cardinals after skipping a minor-league rehab assignment.
Rolen was off to a slow start before landing on the DL, hitting just .217 with two homers and a .663 OPS in 17 games, but his replacements at third base have been even worse as Miguel Cairo, Paul Janish, and Chris Valaika split time in his absence.
Cincinnati ranks second among NL teams in scoring, but the Reds’ third basemen rank 14th in the league with a combined .630 OPS.
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.