From beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times comes word that Rays third baseman Evan Longoria underwent a minor surgical procedure in early November to help relieve “the occasionally painful Morton’s neuroma condition in his left foot.”
Longoria was able to resume workouts shortly after the surgery and is expected to be at 100 percent health when spring training opens for the Rays later this month in Charlotte County, Florida.
The 26-year-old posted a .244/.355/.495 batting line in 574 plate appearances last year for Tampa Bay, homering 31 times and driving in 99 runs. He should have no complications with the foot this 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.