Edwin Encarnacion is not in the Blue Jays’ starting lineup for today’s afternoon tilt against the Tigers.
Encarnacion left last night’s game due to back tightness, but it’s apparently not serious. Today’s just a day off. Adam Lind will start at first base and Dioner Navarro will DH.
Encarnacion has certainly done enough lately to earn a day off. After a power-packed May, he’s hitting .389 with three homers and six RBI in the past week.
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.