Francisco Cordero hasn’t made a very good first impression in Houston


Francisco Cordero went from Toronto to Houston as part of last week’s 10-player swap and the Astros, having traded closer Brett Myers and setup man Brandon Lyon, installed Cordero as their new closer.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, it hasn’t worked out very well.

Cordero was terrible for the Blue Jays, throwing 34 innings with a 5.77 ERA and .340 opponents’ batting average, and he’s blown saves (and taken losses) in two of his first three appearances for the Astros.

Tuesday against the Reds he came into the game with a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning and went fly out, single, homer, ground out, walk, wild pitch, walk, single. By the time manager Brad Mills removed Cordero from the game it was a 4-2 deficit.

Last night, also against the Reds, he came into the game with a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning and went double, strikeout, walk, strikeout, double. Mills again removed him from the game before the inning was over, this time with a 4-3 deficit.

So though three games Cordero is 0-2 with two blown saves and a 23.14 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .417 with a 1.367 OPS. And the Astros, who have an MLB-worst 34 wins all season, have let a washed-up 37-year-old closer turn back-to-back ninth-inning leads into back-to-back losses.

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.