Mike Carp recently offered to learn third base for the Red Sox, a move not entirely based in altruism as it would give the left-hander some much-needed playing time. Carp had a great 2013 for the Red Sox, posting an .885 OPS in 243 plate appearances, 215 of them against right-handed pitchers.
But there’s no obvious spot for Carp in the lineup with David Ortiz at DH and Mike Napoli at first base. As a result, the Red Sox could explore trading Carp. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, scouts from the Pirates and Brewers have been at Red Sox camp keeping an eye on Carp. The Pirates in particular could use a platoon partner at first base with Gaby Sanchez.
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.