Lost in the news of Evan Longoria’s six-year, $100 million extension is that the Rays third baseman underwent surgery last week to “clean up” his left hamstring after missing more than half of the season with a partial tear.
“With the time we had there’s no doubt that I’d be able to recover and be at 100 percent or close to by spring training,” Longoria said, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Of course, Longoria was initially expected to miss 6-8 weeks with the partially torn hamstring and ended up playing just 74 total games, so his “no doubt” might have a little doubt.
According to Topkin the surgery removed scar tissue and took place “in Texas by hamstring specialist Dr. Daniel Cooper.”
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.