Wandy Rodriguez left last Wednesday’s start after just 14 pitches with forearm soreness and now, six days later, the Pirates have placed him on the disabled list. Because the move is backdated he’ll be eligible to return next week, but that’s far from a sure thing given the injury.
It’s a tough loss for the Pirates, as Rodriguez has thrown 138 innings with a 3.66 ERA since they acquired him from the Astros in the middle of last season.
Of course, the Pirates are no doubt hoping that by calling up top prospect and former No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole to fill in for Rodriguez there won’t be much of a dropoff. Cole will make his big-league debut tonight against the Giants, in Pittsburgh.
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.