Jason Heyward missed last night’s game with an oblique injury and he’s out of the Braves’ lineup again tonight, with David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting that the right fielder is “still a little sore.”
Heyward told O’Brien that he’s now aiming to return Thursday, but players are often proven to be way, way too optimistic when it comes to oblique injury timetables.
Prior to the injury Heyward was off to a solid start following an extremely disappointing 2011 season, hitting .273 with a .783 OPS and eight steals in 22 games.
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.