Dustin Pedroia tore a muscle in the thumb in late May and missed six games. Then he landed funny on it on Tuesday night, sat out yesterday’s game and now he needs more tests on it, which he’ll get on today’s offday. Bobby Valentine isn’t worried, though:
“Not really hurt. I just think he needs these two days, and so does he,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “He’s a little stiff here and there.”
Pedroia says it’s in a different area from where it was hurt before, but that the team told him to sit out of an abundance of caution.
Bright spot: more Nick Punto. And who doesn’t want that?
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.