Gardenhire: Francisco Liriano likely done for the season

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According to beat writer John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire informed the media on Sunday afternoon that left-handed starter Francisco Liriano is not likely to return to a major league mound this season.

Liriano was placed on the disabled list in late August with a shoulder strain. A visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum this weekend went smoothly and an MRI taken last week ruled out structural damage, but the Twins don’t seem keen on rushing back the 27-year-old southpaw to what has become a lost campaign.

Liriano posted a 4.84 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 24 starts this year for Minnesota, striking out 109 batters and walking 73 in 132 total innings. He is eligible for arbitration this winter and stands to earn a significant raise over the $4.3 million salary that he collected in 2011 despite the underwhelming results.

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.