UPDATE: Niemann and Davis placed on DL with shoulder strains

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UPDATE: After Monday’s game, Wade Davis joined Niemann on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to the Tampa Tribune. Jeremy Hellickson was recalled and will start Tuesday’s game.
6:50 PM Niemann was officially placed on the DL prior to Monday’s game, with reliever Mike Eckstrom being called up to take his spot.
6:30 PM: Rays starters Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis were both diagnosed with strains after having their shoulders examined, manager Joe Maddon said after arriving at the ballpark Monday.
Maddon said the team was encouraged by the MRI results of both, and that while DL stints are a possbility, it’s doubtful either would be sidelined for a lengthy period.
Fortunately, the Rays’ impressive starting pitching depth, while unneeded in the first half, should be able to help keep the team in the race. The Rays had Andy Sonnanstine fill in for Niemann on Sunday, and Jeremy Hellickson is expected to be recalled to pitch in place of Davis on Tuesday.
Hellickson, one of the game’s best pitching prospects, beat the Twins in his major league debut by allowing two runs over seven innings last Monday.
The Rays enter Monday night’s game two games back of the Yankees in the AL East. They’re four games up on the Red Sox for the wild card.

Mets activate Travis d’Arnaud, place Tommy Milone on disabled list

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The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.

d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.

Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.

Report: John Farrell may be on the hot seat

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The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.

Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.

The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.

Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.

The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.