Shocking news out of Seattle. OK, not really.
From beat writer Greg Johns of MLB.com comes word that the Mariners have shut infielder Chone Figgins down for the remainder of the 2011 season due to ongoing discomfort in his right hip.
Figgins suffered a right hip flexor strain back in late July and was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the beginning of August. He should fully recover this winter, but the 33-year-old won’t return to the playing field until the start of spring training next February.
Figgins batted just .188/.241/.243 with one home run, 11 steals and 15 RBI in 313 plate appearances this season for the last-place Mariners. He’s under contract at $9 million in 2012 and $8 million in 2013.
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.