Nick Swisher not quite ready to return from strained hip flexor


Nick Swisher was originally considered day-to-day when he left last Friday’s game with a strained left hip flexor. However, he sat out rest of the weekend and this week’s three-game series against the Mariners. Now the Yankees have ruled him out for tomorrow’s series opener against the Red Sox.

The good news for the Bombers is that it doesn’t appear to be a DL-situation. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Swisher took batting practice and ran the bases during a workout this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman later said Swisher will “definitely” not be active for tomorrow’s game, but a return on Saturday is possible.

Swisher, 31, is hitting .258/.342/.470 with 14 home runs, 54 RBI and an .812 OPS in 85 games played this season. Ichiro Suzuki has been playing right field since coming over from the Mariners on Monday, but he’s expected to slide over to left field once Swisher is ready to return.

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.