Mitch Mustain, the highly touted high school quarterback who proved to be a bust at USC and Arkansas, made his professional baseball debut yesterday.
Assigned to rookie-ball by the White Sox after turning a tryout into a minor-league deal in February, the 24-year-old right-hander threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Mustain hadn’t pitched since high school, so he’s obviously a long shot and presumably the White Sox will move him up the minor-league ladder pretty quickly if he continues to have success against rookie-level hitters a half-dozen years his junior.
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.