Aaron Thompson, who was the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2005 and is now in the Twins’ organization on a minor-league contract, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a “drug of abuse.”
His track record in the minors is mediocre at best and Thompson was never an option to make the big-league roster out of spring training, but apparently the Twins will keep him in the organization despite the suspension.
Once activated the 25-year-old left-hander will likely be a fifth starter or long reliever at Triple-A.
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.