NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox prepares to deliver the first pitch in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

MLB season is right around the corner, with Red Sox Opening Day just over two weeks away. And with Alex Cora’s announcement on Wednesday, it feels even closer. Yesterday it was announced that FGCU alum Chris Sale would not be the opening day starter for the Red Sox.

On Wednesday morning, Cora announced to reporters that Corey Kluber will be the team’s Opening Day starter when they host the Baltimore Orioles to begin the season on March 30 at Fenway Park. It will be the first start for Kluber in a Red Sox uniform after he signed a one-year, $10 million dollar contract with the team this offseason.

“It’s going to be Corey,” Cora said on Wednesday.

“Obviously, [he’s won] two Cy Youngs. Just who he is and what he brings to the equation.” Cora relayed that in delivering the news to Kluber, he told the 36-year-old “Hey, you’re going to be my Opening Day starter. So whatever you have to do family-wise and all that stuff, structure-wise, be ready. You’re pitching that day.”

So far, Kluber has made three starts for the Red Sox this spring. He’s 1-1 with a 2.35 ERA and eight strikeouts in 7.2 innings.

Last season with Tampa, Kluber went 10-10 in 31 starts with a 4.34 ERA. It was his first full season in four years. From 2014-2018 while pitching for Cleveland, he was one of the best starters in the game and finished top-10 in Cy Young voting each season, winning twice. An arm injury early in the 2019 season kicked off a run of injuries that limited him over the next three years.

There is still the question of what the rotation behind Kluber will look like.

Chris Sale is expected to be in consideration for the second start, but Cora had ruled him out from Opening Day earlier in the week.

He told reporters “I want him to enjoy Thursday [Opening Day] as a regular baseball player. Just the whole Opening Day thing. Whenever he pitches in the rotation, he’ll pitch in the rotation. But I decided that like a month and a half ago and we had the conversation.”

Garrett Whitlock, James Paxton, and Brayan Bello are all likely to play significant roles as starters this year, but due to injuries may not be ready for opening day. Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta, Kutter Crawford, and Josh Winckowski round out the group of pitchers in the running.


Joe Winner spends his days combing through memes and off beat stories to bring you the side of Florida not always seen.