Arizona shut down Trevor Bauer for two weeks in an effort to keep his workload in check and give him some rest, but the top prospect and No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft is back to pitching at Triple-A.
And he tossed six shutout innings in his return Monday, striking out five.
In addition to the time off Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks “have preached to him” the importance of being more efficient with his pitches, which makes sense considering his shaky control. Last night he needed just 80 pitches to record 18 outs and walked two batters, and Gilbert also notes that Bauer’s fastball topped out at 96 miles per hour.
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.