The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo agreed to a record seven-year, $72 million contract less than one week ago and it looks like they aren’t wasting any time getting him into game action.
Per Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, Castillo has successfully obtained a work visa from the U.S. government and is now eligible to play in games. The 27-year-old arrived at the Red Sox facility in Fort Myers, Florida on Wednesday to begin workouts. The minor league season is drawing to a close in a hurry, but one option is to use him during the Gulf Coast League playoffs this weekend. The expectation is that he will get some major league experience in September.
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.