Alex Gordon has been one of the more underrated players in baseball over the last few years, a big reason being his superb defense in left field. If you put any stock into defensive statistics, he has been the best defensive left fielder in baseball since 2011. Gordon showed off his glove again tonight, saving what could have been a two-run Nick Swisher double or triple in the bottom of the first.
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie escaped the inning unscathed thanks in large part to Gordon, but did surrender five runs over seven innings in a 5-3 loss to the Indians.
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.