Starling Marte is not close to returning


Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was placed on the disabled list August 24 with a right hand contusion.

It was thought of as a fairly minor injury at the time, but Marte is still nowhere close to being activated.

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the 24-year-old “cannot let loose throwing” and has “yet to take swings two-handed” due to lingering pain in his right hand. Which means that it will be at least another two weeks before Marte is able to play in a game. He was eligible to for activation on Tuesday.

Marte was batting .282/.343/.443 with 11 home runs, 35 steals and 79 runs scored in 118 games this season as the Pirates’ primary leadoff man.

He also boasts a major-league best 10 triples.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.