The club with baseball’s best record just got a little strong: the Dodgers activated Matt Kemp from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.
Kemp, the NL MVP runner-up in 2011, was off to a torrid start this season before suffering a strained left hamstring. Fortunately, he missed the minimum 15 days, and he’ll now have a chance to get back to work on his incredible .359/.446/.727 line. He’s homered 12 times in 117 at-bats this season.
Going back to Triple-A to make room for Kemp on the roster is 24-year-old Jerry Sands. Given five starts against lefties during Kemp’s absence, he went 4-for-20 with two doubles and an 8/1 K/BB ratio.
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.