Multiple reports out of Boston that the Red Sox have hired Pedro Martinez to be a special assistant to to GM Ben Cherington.
I have no idea what most special assistants do, but I imagine that he’ll do much the same for the Red Sox that Sandy Koufax will do in his new job as special assistant to the Dodgers. Spring training instruction. Be a team ambassador. Be a guy who knows oodles about baseball and is now, because of his job, always reachable. There’s probably a lot of value in that, actually.
Also: I think of Pedro as being a modern Koufax, so I like that both of them got basically the same gig in the past week.
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.