As if hiring a sabermetrically inclined general manager in Jeff Luhnow wasn’t proof enough that the Astros are becoming a new-school organization, Luhnow just used Twitter to announce the hiring of Baseball Prospectus analyst Mike Fast:
Fast (who later confirmed the news) isn’t a household name in the baseball fan world, but in the baseball analysis world he’s a pretty big deal and the hiring is a very smart move by the Astros. And having a GM who’s so active on Twitter is pretty great too, although Luhnow may feel a little bit differently about interacting with fans if the honeymoon period gives way to another 100-loss season.
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.