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The Boston Red Sox still have five games left in the 2018 MLB regular season

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images , yet president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is already lining up the team's starting rotation for the playoffs.Dombrowski said Tuesday on MLB Network Radio that left-hander Chris Sale will start the opening contest of the American League Division Series, which is scheduled for Oct. 5:MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM MLBNetworkRadioDave Dombrowski isnt waiting on an opponent or a press conference to announce Chris Sale as the #RedSox Game 1 starter of the #ALDS#DirtyWater wDKo9kSOl0Sale is the obvious choice to open the playoffs for the Red Sox. He's12-4 with a 2.00 ERA in 26 starts, and his 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings are acareer high.However, persistentshoulder problemslimited Sale to one August start, and he has thrown141 total pitchessince returning to the mound in a 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 11.Dombrowski said Tuesday the Red Sox will have Sale start Wednesday's game against the Orioles, and that the seven-time All-Star will"stretch out again to 90ish-type pitches" to help him get readjusted to a full workload.The difference between winning and losing a five-game playoff series can be thin. In 2016 Yovani Gallardo Jersey , two of the Red Sox's three ALDS playoff defeats were decided by one run.Sale was never a doubt to pitch in the playoffs, but having him in Game 1 of the ALDS will be a nice boost for Boston as it looks to advance to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2013. Former Florida Marlins and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi remains available for teams with a job opening, though according to Jon Heyman of Fancred, Girardi may be holding out for the Chicago Cubsor Chicago White Sox position to become open a year from now:Jon Heyman JonHeymanGirardi surprised reds by pulling out Friday. He had a chance to win job at that point but they never got to point of talking money with him. He also pulled out of rangers derby. Industry speculation: he鈥檚 waiting a year on ChicagoJon Heyman JonHeymanTo clarify the rangers told Girardi they were going in another direction (tho JG did pull himself out of reds derby)Girardi, 54, last managed the Yankees in 2017. In 10 years in New York Eric Thames Jersey , he went 910-710, leading the team to six postseasons and a 2009 World Series title.In one season with the Marlins (2006), Girardi went 78-84.As for the Cubs, the team is bringing back manager Joe Maddon for the 2019 season, but asBob NightengaleofUSA Todayreported in early October, the team won't offer him a contract extension this winter. Instead Glenn Robinson Jersey , "he was told he will be evaluated after next season with his five-year, $28 million contract expiring."The Cubs disappointed this season, especially in October, losing against the Milwaukee Brewers in an NL Central Division title game after the two sides finished the regular season with identical records. They then lost in the NL Wild Card Game against the Colorado Rockies.That's no guarantee Maddon won't be retained, especially if the Cubs have a strong 2019 campaign, but it does leave open the possibility that the position could be Girardi's if he's indeed interested in managing for the Cubs.The White Sox , meanwhile, went 62-100 this past season, and manager Rick Renteria's contract is up after the 2019 campaign. Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox are in a rebuilding phase, making it more likely Girardi would be targeting the Cubs out of the two teams given their playoff-ready roster.As for his 2019 plans,Mark Feinsandof reported Friday that "it appears at the moment that Girardi鈥檚 plan is to return to MLB Network next season Cecil Cooper Jersey , though he absolutely wants to manage again. Would be surprising to see him fill any of the current openings."So regardless of whether it's with the Cubs or not, it appears Girardi's next managerial job will come in 2020.

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