Jordan Zimmermann’s next start has been pushed back from Friday to Saturday because of shoulder soreness.
For now the Nationals are saying it’s nothing serious, but James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that Zimmermann “has recently been taking anti-inflammatory medicine” and had trouble getting loose before his last outing.
It’d be a shame if shoulder problems limited Zimmermann down the stretch, as he’s come back from Tommy John elbow surgery to establish himself as one of the best young pitchers in the league. Since missing most of 2010 he’s started 47 games with a 2.77 ERA and 220/55 K/BB ratio in 296 innings, including 4-0 with a 0.97 ERA in July.
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.