Giancarlo Stanton was expected to miss 4-6 weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery on July 8 and sure enough he’s back from the disabled list one day short of a month later.
Stanton returns after missing 25 games, during which the Marlins went 8-17 to fall out of contention and into a last-place tie in the NL East.
Stanton initially tried to play through loose bodies in his knee, but was in and out of the lineup before ultimately deciding to go under the knife. Prior to being shut down he hit .284 with 19 homers, 20 doubles, and a career-high .919 OPS in 80 games and made his first All-Star team.
He went 5-for-16 with two homers on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A.
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.