Daisuke Matsuzaka shooting for a June return


The common thinking is that Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to be set to return from his rehab in July, but Nick Carfado is reporting that things have been going well and that his bullpen session yesterday was “very impressive” and that he’s “throwing hard and using his secondary pitches.”  As such, Matsuzaka is thinking more along the lines of June.

When he went down last year, most people assumed that he’d never throw another pitch for the Red Sox.  How weird/cool would it be if he came back and played a key part on a Red Sox playoff push?  And if he found his gyroball and was a closer or something?

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

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.