Dan Haren to miss first start since 2005 due to back issue

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We mentioned the other day that Dan Haren was iffy to start Saturday against the Yankees after tweaking his back during a bullpen session. Now it’s official.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Haren was scratched from tomorrow’s start and is now tentatively scheduled to start Tuesday against the Rays. While Haren will only be pushed back a couple days, this will be the first time he has missed a start since the 2005 season. The Angels had an off-day yesterday, so Ervin Santana will take his place tomorrow on regular rest.

Haren is 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 0.94 WHIP over 12 starts and one relief appearance this season. The 30-year-old right-hander currently ranks seventh in the American League with 74 strikeouts over 86 1/3 innings.

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.