Ervin Santana plays catch after being struck by line drive

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Ervin Santana played catch yesterday after being hit on the shoulder by an Alexi Ramirez line drive Wednesday, telling Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that “it’s better than I thought” and “I can move it and anything.”

For now the Angels are leaving open the possibility that Santana won’t even miss a turn in the rotation and he’s slated to pitch again Monday versus the Rockies.

Santana was supposed to throw 45 pitches Wednesday and ended up leaving after just 32, but assuming the injury proves minor he should have plenty of time to get fully stretched out before the season begins.

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.