Cubs add Bill Mueller as hitting coach, Brandon Hyde as bench coach

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The Cubs announced two key additions to new manager Rick Renteria’s staff, bringing in Bill Mueller as hitting coach and Brandon Hyde as bench coach.

Mueller played 11 seasons in the majors, including 2001 and 2002 with the Cubs, winning a batting title and finishing as a career .292 hitter with a .797 OPS. Most recently he worked as a scout for the Dodgers.

Hyde previously coached in the Marlins’ farm system and spent a year as their bench coach in 2011, but most recently worked in the Cubs’ front office as director of player development.

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.