Dexter Fowler doesn’t think giving up switch-hitting is the answer


Slumping center fielder Dexter Fowler probably would have been sent down by the Rockies last week if not for a strained abdominal muscle that put him on the disabled list instead, but he doesn’t believe that quitting switch-hitting will give his flailing career a boost.

The 25-year-old Fowler, in his third full season with the Rockies, is a natural right-handed hitter.  In his career, he’s hit .282/.369/.414 as a righty and .243/.339/.380 hitter as a lefty.’s Thomas Harding reported that Jim Tracy is on board with Fowler as a switch-hitter for now, but believes a change might be inevitable if Fowler’s numbers continue to go south.  Fowler posted a .770 OPS as a rookie last year and a .757 mark last season, but he’s down to .688 at the moment.

Fowler has also been a disaster away from Coors Field in his career, with an OPS nearly 200 points lower on the road.  He’s hit .225/.313/.333 in 172 career away games.

The Rockies opted to move Carlos Gonzalez back to center field when Fowler landed on the DL, and expectations are that Fowler is in for a lengthy rehab assignment before he makes it back to Denver.  If Fowler doesn’t excel at Triple-A, he’ll probably be optioned to the minors for a spell.

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.