Tag: MLB Opening Day

Red Sox vs. Indians Opening Day 2016 Postponed Due to Weather

The Cleveland Indians’ 2016 season home opener against the Boston Red Sox was postponed from Monday until 1:10 p.m. ET Tuesday due to inclement weather.

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reported the news Monday. The Indians will now host the Red Sox for three games in as many days. Boston was supposed to start pitcher David Price against Cleveland’s Corey Kluber for Opening Day, per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com.

Tom Withers of the Associated Press captured a shot of the scoreboard at Progressive Field that seemed appropriate under the circumstances:

Cleveland.com reacted to the situation as cold temperatures and snow hit the city in untimely fashion:

Although fans will be disappointed not to witness the game as scheduled, they can still look forward to a captivating pitching duel between two former American League Cy Young Award winners.

Price arrived in Boston as a massive free-agent addition and will be playing for his fourth club since 2014, most recently serving a brief stint with the Red Sox’s AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays.

The Indians posted a third straight winning record under manager Terry Francona in 2015 yet failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Kluber had a letdown from his 2014 Cy Young Award campaign last season. His ERA rose from 2.44 to 3.49, which isn’t horrible, but a dearth of run support resulted in Kluber posting a 9-16 record as a starter. He has his work cut out to limit an opposing lineup headlined by slugger David Ortiz, who’s in the midst of his final season.

“I don’t feel any different yet,” Ortiz said Sunday about Opening Day, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “Knowing it’s your last one, I’ll try and enjoy it. I’m just going to play the game, man. You have to move forward.”

Francona managed the Red Sox to two World Series titles during his tenure in Boston. His counterpart, current Sox skipper John Farrell, also has a championship on his resume.

Farrell’s return to the dugout for the 2016 opener is notable after he underwent cancer treatment and received news it went into remission this past October.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2016 MLB Opening Day: Follow All the News, Results, Top Performances Live

If the first act of MLB‘s Opening Day festivities was any indication of what’s to come, Act II, which gets underway Monday with a 12-game slate, is going to be full of memorable moments and keep us at the edge of our seats.

Sunday saw the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Mets mount late rallies in their opening contests, only to fall short and lose to the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, respectively. With so many games on tap for Monday, we’re sure to see more than a few follow that same formula.

Will David Price be dominant in his first regular-season start as a member of the Boston Red Sox? Will high-profile prospects such as Minnesota’s Byron Buxton and Los Angeles’ Corey Seager get off to strong starts in what many believe will be Rookie of the Year Award-winning seasons?

Keep it right here for live updates and analysis of all the Opening Day action, and hit me up on Twitter (@RickWeinerBR) and in the comments section with your take on it all.


Final Scores

Dodgers 15, Padres 0

Blue Jays 5, Rays 3

Orioles 3, Twins 2

Nationals 4, Braves 3 (10)

Rangers 3, Mariners 2

Giants 12, Brewers 3

Reds 6, Phillies 2




Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Power Rankings: Who Is Baseball’s No. 1 Team on Opening Day?

The 2016 MLB season kicked off with a tripleheader of games on Sunday, and ahead of Monday’s full slate of action it’s time to officially unveil our Opening Day power rankings.

All offseason we’ve shuffled teams around based on free-agent signings, trades, injuries, position battles and in many case a simple shift in opinion as the months went on and we moved closer to the start of the regular season.

From here on out, we’ll have actual on-field results to base these rankings on, but for now they’re still largely subjective and based on how the teams stack up on paper.

These rankings are a fluid process throughout the course of the season. Win, and you climb. Continue to win, and you’ll continue to climb. It’s as simple as that, yet it never fails to spark some of the best debate in the MLB community.

So who is baseball’s No. 1 team on Opening Day? Where does your favorite team fall in our first regular-season power rankings?

Let’s get things rolling.

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David Price Right at Home with Boston Red Sox Thanks in Large Part to Big Papi

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Price will be the third Opening Day starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the past three seasons Tuesday in Cleveland.

Boston hopes Price will be the man for that job for the next seven years, and his biggest fan on the 2016 team may be one of his biggest former enemies, David Ortiz.

It turns out Ortiz also gave his blessing when the Red Sox asked him about pursuing the dominant lefty as a free agent. But the two new teammates once enjoyed a public and mutual professional scorn.

Their open acrimony surfaced during the 2013 American League Division Series. It intensified in May 2014, when Price plunked the Red Sox DH during their first matchup of the season.

Ortiz referred to their hostilities as “war” and called Price “a little b—h.” Price objected and said Ortiz “looks like he’s bigger than the game of baseball.”

That was then.

This is now.

Millions witnessed images of their bromantic clubhouse hug on Feb. 22, posted by the Red Sox on social media.

“With the hug, there was media everywhere. I mean, he wasn’t going to punch me or act mad,” said Price, who admitted he had been nervous about meeting Ortiz as a teammate.

But few outside of Price and Ortiz saw what truly made him feel like he was a friend and teammate of Ortiz, and by extension, a bona fide member of the Red Sox.

It was an unexpected but welcome text message.

“The biggest thing, and this is the first time I’ve said it, was probably a week or two after that hug. We had a day game. I’m home. It’s probably nine o’clock at night. David just sends me a text,” Price told Bleacher Report in an exclusive clubhouse interview.

“He’s asking me: ‘How are things going? Is there anything [I] can do to make it better?’ He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to make this process go more smoothly. That text he sent me that night, while he’s at home with the family. To do that, it was special.”

For Ortiz, the text message was a natural extension of him being the team’s in-house leader and a star in the final year of his career with dreams of one more World Series.

“There’s no way you can win by yourself. I can’t pitch. I have no clue about pitching,” Ortiz acknowledged with a laugh. “David is our ace. I want him to do well. I want him to feel comfortable.”

“I know how everything works around here. I wanted to make sure everything was going well with him at the time. And if there’s anything he would like to know, when it comes down to putting up with the media and the stuff around here, I wanted him to feel open to call me and ask me any type of questions. I’m wide open for it. I want him to be peaceful.”

As Big Papi knows all too well, finding that peace in a city like Boston is a different story.

“He’s a quiet guy. He’s not a guy who likes the attention much. Playing here, there’s no way you can stay away from it. So I wanted him to know that if he ever had any questions or problems, he could hit me up.”

Ortiz hasn’t been simply reacting to Price’s arrival with hugs and text messages during spring training; he was helping to facilitate his acquisition in the offseason.

“When you add someone like David to your starting rotation, you’re going to add a lot of W’s. The [Red Sox] organization let me know they were chasing him,” Ortiz said.

“They asked me, and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah, we need him.’ You saw how bad we struggled with pitching last year. And you know that making a move to sign a guy like Price is not an easy move to make. There’s a lot of money involved. Once something like that happens, you already know that you’re going to have an ace.”

Ortiz reassured what was once a “war” in 2014 is now nothing more than a one-off moment of the past.

“That incident happened between me and David one time. But I did my homework. I asked around about David. Everybody loves him. We got to know each other. He’s a super nice guy. You see everything he does. You look at his Twitter account. There’s no way you can have any issues with that guy.”

With Ortiz’s support both in the clubhouse and at the plate, all the 6’5″ Price must do now is justify his $217 million contract—the largest ever given to a pitcher.

Price was MLB‘s premier free-agent pitcher this offseason, going 18-5 with an AL-best 2.45 ERA in 220.1 innings for Detroit and Toronto in 2015. In December, he signed with Boston through 2022, though the deal includes an opt-out clause after the 2018 season.

The citizenry of Red Sox Nation watched the so-called “five aces” of Boston’s 2015 rotation transform into a house of cards last summer. Boston’s mudslide in the standings was triggered in large part by a mysterious elbow injury to Clay Buchholz that ended his season on July 10.

No one on the Red Sox payroll questions Price’s role as the team’s “ace” this season.

“Everything has been as advertised,” manager John Farrell said of Price. “He’s shown his leadership qualities and personality in the clubhouse. [At times this spring], his command was almost midseason form, as well as he was following the glove around the strike zone.”

“His willingness to take some young left-handed starters under his wing—Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens particularly—to impart some of his experiences on them. David Price has been everything we have hoped for to date. David has been a very good presence in our clubhouse and a very good teammate.”

Dave Dombrowski, Boston’s president of baseball operations, acquired Price when he was the general manager in Detroit. Dombrowski knew the opportunity to bring him to Boston could not be missed, despite the historic price tag.

“He brings to your rotation and your club a big presence as the No. 1 guy. And he is legitimately that. No. 1 starters are not easy to find. He also brings the intangible aspects. The worth ethic. The leadership. He’s really the whole package. To have someone like that in the organization is a real plus.”

Price is also aware of any bullpen’s limitations, even with Boston’s addition of closer Craig Kimbrel and setup man Carson Smith (currently on the disabled list).

“I expect to go nine and get 27 outs every time I step on that mound,” he said. “I take a lot of pride to give those relievers that day off. I’d rather go eight and give up one run, than go six and give up none.”

One of Price’s former proteges, Toronto pitcher Marcus Stroman, said he’s “given about 30 million interviews” on Price this spring. But he is still quick to laud Price as both a huge role model and mentor.

“I try to take down how he went about his business on and off the field, and how he treated everyone. He’s a true leader. A true ace. I was just lucky to play with him as long as I did. He’s a friend that I’ll have forever.”

And Price is still dispensing advice to one-time Rays teammate Chris Archer.

Boston has seen many of its recent splurges in free agency backfire. Look no further than $90 million signing and current bench player Pablo Sandoval.

But Price is far more prepared for the best and worst of what Boston can offer, according to Dombrowski.

“If you’re going to invest those type of dollars, you want that player to bring everything to the table. I had the pleasure and fortune of being with him in Detroit. I thought he’d be able to handle the Boston spotlight. He can handle it. And he has no difficulty with the communications and intellectual aspect of it.”

So what is the difference between the David Price who closed out Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS against the Red Sox and the David Price now carrying the hopes of a beleaguered Boston fanbase?

After all, it’s been 14 whole months since the city’s last duck boat parade.

“I had two pitches then, a straight fastball and a slider. I didn’t have the fastball command that I needed. My velocity allowed me to get away with a few more mistakes. I threw a good amount of sliders that night. That was my best pitch coming out of college,” Price said.

“I probably threw two changeups in college [Vanderbilt], and maybe five before I got to the big leagues. I realized very quickly that it doesn’t matter how hard you throw at this level. You have to be able to locate and change speeds. I take pride in being able to make adjustments on the fly.”

Price began developing a changeup in 2009, and he picked up the one he uses today back in 2011 courtesy of then-teammate James Shields.

“It’s a feel pitch, but you have to have trust in it,” Price said. “You’ve got to throw it. You’ve got to take it to the game. I don’t care how good it is in the bullpen; you’re not going to have confidence in that pitch unless you go and throw it in a game.

“Where you get that first swing and miss, or that first ball off the end of the bat for a ground ball, that’s going to give you confidence to throw that first pitch in a big situation.”

Ortiz carries a .250 average with nine strikeouts and just two of his 503 career home runs in 54 plate appearances against Price. He cites Price’s “experience” as the biggest factor in his evolution as a pitcher.

“Here’s a guy with the same stuff. More experience. That’s dangerous,” Ortiz said. “Before, he would try to overpower [you]. Now, he uses his power when he wants. He can throw the ball wherever he wants.”

“You don’t need nothing else. You can be powerful and have three different pitches, but if you don’t throw the ball where you want it, that gets you in trouble. Now, he’s got both power and super-extraordinary control.”

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is fifth among active players with 58 at-bats (.276/.358/.431) against Price. None of those 58 were ever easy.

“Whenever you face him, you’ve got your hands full. He’s the kind of guy who will take the ball in a big game. He’s going to be extremely important to us.”

Price has pitched for three AL East champions and is 49-21 against division foes with a 3.15 ERA. He’s been even more effective in Fenway Park, going 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 career regular-season starts.

This familiarity with division and league opponents breeds both contempt and, eventually, respect. Big Papi may be the well-known feud, but this isn’t the first time Price has turned an enemy into a friend.

“I couldn’t stand Ian Kinsler. I told him that,” Price said. “Then I got to play with him [in Detroit]. Now, Ian’s in my top five of guys I’ve played with and enjoyed being around. Ian’s a really good dude.”

Ortiz has experienced the same change of heart many times before.

“When you haven’t played with someone, in between those two lines, they don’t have to look nice for me. They’re trying to get their job done. A lot of players judge other players on what they see without knowing the guy,” he said.

“I don’t like him for his body language, or whatever he does out there, but once I was in the room with him all the time, and I got to know the guy. I see the intensity in the guy. How he goes about his business. And then, boom, then you get to know the guy.”

Price also knows Boston and his contract will inevitably send a social media barrage his way, but he has scaled back on his interaction of late.

“One third of it’s going to be positive. One third of it will be negative and one third will be about fantasy baseball,” he said. “I don’t read a whole lot of tweets. I’ve gotten a lot more lately and a lot of the decisions I’ve made lately have gotten some people mad. But that’s part of it.”

Jared Carrabis, a Red Sox fan-turned-blogger for the past 10 years, was once an ardent “Twitter troll” of Price. Later, his digital courtship of Price earned Carrabis an infamous “bunk beds” mention during Price’s introductory press conference in Boston.

Carrabis’ reaction to Price coming to Boston was typical among diehard Red Sox fans.

“It felt like a concussion grenade went off when I saw the tweet. I remember my brain actually going numb and hearing that ringing sound in my ears that you get after leaving a concert. I think that was what it feels like to literally have your mind blown,” Carrabis said.

Price hopes to continue converting past haters by winning a World Series in Boston, or seven. He is resolute about ending his “winless as a starter in the postseason” drought this October. His regular season was delayed for a day by bad weather as Monday’s scheduled opener was postponed. 

“I know good things are going to come to me in October baseball. It just hasn’t happened…yet. I’ve thrown the ball well in some games. You’ve got to have some of those hard-hit balls at people. The balls you execute, and there’s weak contact, you’ve got to have that play made and not for that ball to fall into no-man’s land, or to be hit in just the right spot.”

“My time is coming. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. Winning in the playoffs is something I want to do. It’s something I’m capable of doing. Hopefully, this year, we can get going and start a streak on the right side.”

And Ortiz and the rest of Price’s new Red Sox teammates will be there to watch his back.


All quotes were obtained firsthand by Bleacher Report unless otherwise specified.

Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist who first covered the Red Sox in 1987. He Tweets at @RealOBF and @BillSperos.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New York Mets vs. Kansas City Royals Live Blog

The last time we saw the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets playing meaningful baseball, a five-run 12th inning gave the Royals a 5-2 victory in Game 5 of the World Series, securing the team’s first championship in 30 years.

So it’s only fitting that a rematch of Game 5 starters Edinson Volquez and Matt Harvey kick the 2016 regular season off for both pennant-winning clubs. Volquez tossed six innings of two-hit, one-run ball in that deciding game, while Harvey’s insistence on finishing what he started led to the Royals’ comeback.

With the Royals reportedly still looking for payback, per Newsday’s Marc Carig, after New York’s Noah Syndergaard fired a fastball high and tight to Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar in Game 3, things could escalate, even without the man known as Thor actively participating in the festivities.

While both teams return the bulk of their respective rosters from last season, some new faces on both sides will get to experience this budding rivalry for the first time when the first pitch arrives at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Keep it right here for live updates and analysis of all the action from Kauffman Stadium, and hit me up on Twitter (@RickWeinerBR) and in the comments with your take on tonight’s game.



Royals 4, Mets 3

  • Bot 1: Eric Hosmer RBI single
  • Bot 4: Kendrys Morales sac fly
  • Bot 6: Alex Gordon RBI single
  • Bot 6: Omar Infante RBI single
  • Top 8: Lucas Duda two-run single
  • Top 8: Neil Walker fielder’s choice

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays Live Blog

The Tampa Bay Rays host the Toronto Blue Jays and their high-powered offense in the second game of this Opening Day Sunday.

The Blue Jays averaged 5.5 runs per game and piled up 127 more runs than any other team last season, and there’s no reason to think things will be any different in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Rays have had a busy offseason retooling their offense after finishing 25th in the majors and second-to-last in the AL in scoring.

As these two teams get the AL side of the schedule rolling, be sure to keep it right here for live updates on all the action from Tropicana Field.


Final Score: Blue Jays 5, Rays 3

-Top 1: Edwin Encarnacion two-run single (TOR 2, TB 0)
-Bot 3: Evan Longoria RBI single (TOR 2, TB 1)
-Top 4: Kevin Pillar RBI single (TOR 3, TB 1)
-Top 8: Troy Tulowitzki 2-run home run (TOR 5, TB 1)
-Bot 9: Corey Dickerson solo home run (TOR 5, TB 2)
-Bot 9: Kevin Kiermaier RBI single (TOR 5, TB 3)

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Live Blog

It’s finally here!

After five long, cold months without baseball, the 2016 MLB season has officially arrived, with the St. Louis Cardinals taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of three games on this wonderful Sunday.

The Cardinals are fresh off of a 100-win season and an NL Central title, while the Pirates won 98 games and found themselves in the Wild Card Game for a third consecutive season.

Both teams wound up eliminated by another NL Central foe in the Chicago Cubs, and they’re eyeing bigger and better things as the new season begins.

Keep it right here for live updates on all the action from PNC Park.


Final Score: Cardinals 1, Pirates 4

-Bot 2: Francisco Liriano RBI single (STL 0, PIT 1)
Bot 2: John Jaso RBI single (STL 0, PIT 2)
-Bot 6: Josh Harrison sacrifice fly (STL 0, PIT 3)
-Bot 8: Jordy Mercer RBI double (STL 0, PIT 4)
-Top 9: Matt Carpenter RBI single (STL 1, PIT 4)

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

David Price Announced as Red Sox’s Starter for 2016 Opening Day

The Boston Red Sox‘s major offseason addition will be on the mound when they begin their 2016 regular-season slate on April 4, as David Price was announced as the team’s Opening Day starter Tuesday.  

The organization announced the decision on Twitter:

After finishing last in the American League East in 2015, Boston will begin its bounce-back attempt April 4 with a road tilt against the Cleveland Indians.

Following a 2015 season that saw Price finish second in the AL Cy Young Award voting by virtue of an 18-5 record with a 2.45 ERA split between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, the fact that the team selected him comes as little surprise.

Boston inked the 30-year-old lefty to a seven-year, $217 million contract during the offseason, and he is expected to be the workhorse and one constant in a rotation that is riddled with question marks otherwise.

The Red Sox mark Price’s fourth team since 2014, as he spent the first six-plus years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, and starting on Opening Day gives him a rare distinction, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via Red Sox manager of media relations and baseball information Jon Shestakofsky):

Price has consistently been among the best starters in baseball since debuting in 2008, as evidenced by his career mark of 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA.

He will have a tough challenge ahead of him, however, as the Tribe will counter with 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.

That is a marquee pitching matchup in every sense of the term, and it will certainly test both lineups as they look to get into regular-season form.

While the Opening Day result carries the same weight as any other game over the course of the season, Price will undoubtedly have some added pressure to live up to his contract and get Boston off to a great start after a miserable 2015 campaign.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cole Hamels Announced as Rangers’ Starter for 2016 Opening Day

As Yu Darvish continues rebuilding his arm strength from Tommy John surgery, the Texas Rangers will go with Cole Hamels as their Opening Day starter against the Seattle Mariners on April 4.

The Rangers officially announced Hamels as their No. 1 starter on Twitter on Wednesday. 

The 32-year-old Hamels was acquired by the Rangers last season on July 31 in a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. He posted a 3.66 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 83.2 innings after the move, helping Texas win its first American League West title since 2011. 

Hamels was the Rangers’ starting pitcher in their must-win game on the last day of the season, tossing a complete-game three-hitter in a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He made two starts against the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Division Series, allowing four earned runs with 14 strikeouts and two walks in 13.1 innings. 

If Darvish were healthy, his resume and dominant stuff would likely have given him the edge over Hamels to start on Opening Day. He’s being carefully managed by the team, throwing 31 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday, and he won’t face live hitters until he’s able to throw between 50 and 55 pitches, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News

Hamels is certainly no stranger to taking the ball for a season opener, previously getting the honor as a member of the Phillies in 2013 and 2015, per Rangers executive vice president of communications John Blake

Blake also noted the Rangers have used seven different Opening Day starters in the last seven seasons. Hamels has proved himself to be one of the best and most consistent pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Hamels may no longer be the Cy Young Award contender from his peak days in Philadelphia, but his evolution as a pitcher to keep hitters off balance before setting them up with his devastating changeup will keep him playing at a high level for a long time. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Updated Spring Training Predictions for All 30 MLB Teams’ Final 25-Man Rosters

We’ve tried our hand at predicting each team’s Opening Day roster a few times so far this offseason, but now that we have some actual spring action to base things on, here’s a significantly more in-depth dive into each team’s likely roster.

What follows is a projected 25-man roster for each team.

Player names in bold on the rosters are viewed as locks, and we didn’t waste time discussing their status.

However, for the handful of players on each team who are not locked into a spot, we provided a breakdown of why that player was the choice, as well as a look at other potential candidates for the job.

Any player in italics on the other candidates list is a non-roster invitee, so he would need to be added to the 40-man roster to make the team.

Things will continue to change with the inevitable injuries, breakout performances and last-minute trades or free-agent signings, but for now, this should give a good idea of what each team could look like when Opening Day rolls around.

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