After getting tuned up in extended spring training Carlos Zambrano has joined the Phillies’ high Single-A affiliate in Clearwater and will start for the Thrashers tonight.
Zambrano signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies two weeks ago and with Roy Halladay and John Lannan both on the disabled list he definitely has an opportunity to get back to the majors relatively quickly.
Zambrano is still just 31 years old, but he had a 4.49 ERA and terrible 95/75 K/BB ratio in 132 innings for the Marlins last season, including a 6.60 ERA and more walks (46) than strikeouts (39) in his final 59 innings.
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.