UPDATE: Despite thumb injury, Bobby Valentine expects Josh Beckett to make his first start


UPDATE:  If you believe Bobby Valentine, it seems that maybe it’s not too bad:

10:29 AM:  Josh Beckett has an issue with his thumb and that may cause Alfredo Aceves to take his Game 2 start.  We know this because Aceves said so:

No word yet on what the thumb issue is or how long it could keep Beckett out, but he is leaving Florida for San Antonio to get it checked out.

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.