Red Sox

Sale goes four innings, strikes out five in first start

Sale goes four innings, strikes out five in first start

Chris Sale allowed a run on four hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter in four innings against the Miami Marlins in his first Grapefruit League start of the spring on Friday in Jupiter, Fla.

The Red Sox lefty ace's fastball topped out at 97 mph. He threw 58 pitches, 41 for strikes.  

The Marlins' run off Sale came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning by Justin Bour that scored Derek Dietrich who had led off with a double. 

Click here for more on Sale's approach to his second season in Boston from NBC Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich.

 

MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers

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USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Red Sox place Sandy Leon on waivers

Sandy Leon appears to be the odd man out behind the plate for the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox have placed the veteran catcher on waivers, WEEI's Evan Drellich reported Sunday. That means MLB's other clubs have 48 hours to claim Leon; if not, he can be assigned to Boston's minor league team, traded or released outright.

The Sox reportedly had been "actively discussing" trades for the 30-year-old catcher but apparently couldn't find a suitor with Opening Day just four days away.

Leon is an excellent defensive catcher and hit .310 during a stellar 2016 campaign but has fallen off steeply at the plate since, posting a .177 batting average over 89 games in 2018.

With Dustin Pedroia back in the fold, Boston was intent on carrying only two catchers into the regular season. Christian Vazquez likely will get the start Thursday in Seattle, with Blake Swihart in a backup role.

UPDATEThe Red Sox have informed Blake Swihart that he has made the team, per Evan Drellich. The team will roll with the duo of Vazquez and Swihart on Opening Day. 

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Red Sox fans won't like Alex Rodriguez's latest Aaron Judge comments

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USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox fans won't like Alex Rodriguez's latest Aaron Judge comments

Major League Baseball needs a face, and two of the best candidates play for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

With all due respect to Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, the top two players to be the marquee superstar in baseball are Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge.

Betts is the reigning American League MVP, a three-time Gold Glove winner and a World Series champion. Judge is a towering figure at 6-foot-7 who hits massive home runs and has helped lead the league's most historic franchise to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

So, who's the biggest superstar in baseball? Former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez recently gave his answer to WFAN's Mike Francesca, and Red Sox fans aren't going to like it.

If the competition for the league's biggest star was based on stats and winning, Betts probably would take the crown. The case for Judge improves if you include personality and other intangibles. Rodriguez is right about Judge being a "transcendant athlete." Judge's immense size and the power he brings to the plate play into that, and baseball would be wise to market those exciting attritubes he brings to the field.

Both Betts and Judge admitted recently they have a lot of respect for each other, and their emergence as premier stars has helped bring back the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry after it died down a bit following an intense 2004 season.

Betts deserves to be the leader for the title of MLB's biggest star entering 2019 after he won almost every individual award and the World Series last year. But you can bet Judge will be highly motivated to knock his rival off that perch, especially after the Red Sox sent the Yankees home for the winter in the American League Division Series last October.

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