From beat writer Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com comes word that Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is tentatively scheduled to spend this upcoming weekend playing in minor league rehab games and could be cleared to return to the active 25-man roster as early as Tuesday night.
Lawrie has been on the 15-day disabled list since August 4 with a strained oblique muscle. He’ll likely have to make it through a workout on Friday in Toronto before the Jays send him to the farm.
The 22-year-old was batting .282/.326/.416 with nine homers, 40 RBI and 13 steals in 427 plate appearances before hitting the shelf. Adeiny Hechavarria and Omar Vizquel have been filling in at the hot corner.
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.