Indians catcher/third baseman Carlos Santana is back from the seven-day concussion disabled list after missing a total of 10 days due to a foul tip to the mask.
Santana also had a concussion in 2012, so no doubt the Indians will monitor his status very closely and may opt against using him any more at catcher for a while.
He was struggling mightily even before the brain injury, hitting just .159 with 46 strikeouts in 50 games, although Santana did display his usual excellent plate discipline with 43 walks. Santana has started 26 games at third base, plus 10 games at catcher, 10 games at designated hitter, and four games at first base.
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.