Not that this comes as a shock to anyone, but Athletics manager Bob Melvin officially announced that Sonny Gray will start on Opening Day, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports.
It will be Gray’s third consecutive Opening Day start, making him only the third Athletic — joining Dave Stewart (five) and Rick Langford (three) — to make at least three consecutive Opening Day starts, A’s Baseball Information Manager Mike Selleck notes.
Gray, 26, is the obvious ace in a rotation that will include some combination of Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman, Chris Bassitt, Rich Hill, Jarrod Parker, and Henderson Alvarez. Last season, Gray finished third in American League Cy Young Award balloting, compiling a 14-7 record with a 2.73 ERA and a 169/59 K/BB ratio in 208 innings. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, leading to some speculation that the A’s could pursue trading Gray.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.