The Cincinnati Reds just announced that Scott Rolen will not join team for spring training. In the wake of that Rolen issued his own statement through the team. He did not announce his retirement, but he certainly sounds like a guy strongly considering it:
“Right now I’m simply not ready to make a commitment. I would like to leave my options open, without closing any doors. I am looking forward to all of the challenges, both personally and professionally, I will face in the future.”
Not sure where else Rolen could land. My assumption is that Rolen will wait a bit to see if anyone suffers an injury in camp and has a need for a third baseman. Barring that, though, it sounds like the end of a Hall of Very Good career.
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.