Joel Hanrahan initially hoped to return after just a few days, but the Red Sox have placed him on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
That means Andrew Bailey should get a two-week look in the closer role, which began yesterday with him blowing a one-run lead against the Rays and ending up with the win when the Red Sox scored in the bottom of the ninth.
Career minor leaguer Steven Wright–not to be confused with the stand-up comedian–is coming up from Triple-A to take Hanrahan’s spot on the roster and in the bullpen. Wright is 28 years old with seven seasons and 710 innings of experience in the minors, but the right-hander doesn’t figure to have a role much bigger than middle relief.
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.