Even though we’ve said this every year since 2009, it remains true: for the Yankees to keep up their winning ways, they need a healthy and productive Alex Rodriguez. George King of the New York Post reports, however, that A-Rod’s surgically repaired right hip is damaged, with an insider telling him that it’s “a big issue.”
Rodriguez looked lost against righties in the postseason, and one wonders if the hip — and an attendant inability to turn quickly — was the cause. A-Rod his .272/.353/.430 in 2012, though he was less effective after returning from the disabled list than he was prior.
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.