Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have designated outfielder Michael Taylor for assignment. Sam Fuld, Taylor’s competition for the reserve outfielder job, made the team as a result.
Taylor had a great spring, slashing .274/.348/.532 in 62 at-bats. Fuld was nearly as good, posting a .271/.348/.475 line in 59 at-bats.
Taylor came over to the Athletics in December 2009 from the Blue Jays in the Brett Wallace trade. He has performed well at Triple-A Sacramento over the past four seasons but has had few opportunities to prove himself at the big league level. He’ll likely draw some interest based on his solid spring.
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.