Joe Girardi had been reluctant all week to name a starting pitcher for Friday, but it's pretty clear it will be Spencer Howard.
Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. continues to shine as one of baseball's bright young stars, building on his electrifying first season when he finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting despite playing in only 84 games due to injuries. If he can stay healthy, Tatis is a big reason the long-downtrodden Padres believe they're built to compete in this pandemic-shortened season. Going into Thursday's games, he was tied with reigning AL MVP Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels with eight homers, one behind New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.
With an arm repaired by Tommy John surgery and a pandemic locking him out of the Red Sox spring training facility, Boston left-hander Chris Sale is managing his rehab the best he can. The team has moved some weights into an outdoor batting cage, which Sale also uses as a locker room. A seven-time All-Star who went 29-12 in his first two years in Boston, Sale fell to 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts last year - his fewest wins and starts, highest ERA, and the first time he failed to finish among the top six in Cy Young Award voting in any full season as a starter.