The Reds have a decision to make on Aroldis Chapman


As John Fay reports, Arolids Chapman’s rehab time is up on Tuesday, and at that point the Reds have to decide if they’re going to call him back to Cincy or option him to the minors.

It had been shaping up to be an easy decision until Saturday — keep the man down — but then Chapman had a nice outing, . Is that evidence of things to come, or is it just a blip on what has been an otherwise horrid little eight-outing trip through AAA and AA?

Certainly an effective Chapman would be nice to have back, but if there’s any question about it, I’m not sure I’d take a chance on him in the majors yet. The Reds are basically a middle of the pack bullpen overall on the season, and that was with Chapman’s walk-tastic outings dragging them down some.  No, I don’t expect Bill Bray — the lefty who has benefited most from Chapman’s absence — to maintain a 1.59 ERA for the rest of the season, but I’d want to see more than one nice appearance by Chapman before he’s thrown back in the big league pen.

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.