9:00 p.m. EDT: Lester left Tuesday’s game with a strained left lat muscle. The Red Sox didn’t even try calling him day-to-day, so it sounds like he’ll be placed on the DL on Wednesday. Michael Bowden could be called up to help out of the pen until a fifth starter is needed.
8:45 p.m. EDT: The Red Sox have gone an unusually long time without any update on Lester’s condition, which doesn’t seem like very good news. Plus, Jose Bautista just broke up the Lester-Albers combined no-hitter that lasted 5 2/3 innings.
No word yet on what might be wrong, but Jon Lester was just removed from his start against the Blue Jays on Tuesday after throwing four hitless innings.
Lester showed no sign of injury on his final pitch of the fourth, a cutter that caught Adam Lind looking. The Red Sox, however, got Matt Albers up in the bottom of the inning and brought him in to replace Lester in the top of the fifth.
Lester, who wasn’t picked for next week’s All-Star Game, is 10-4 with a 3.43 ERA this season. He left with a 3-0 lead tonight, but since he didn’t go five, he’ll be ineligible for the victory.
If Lester joins rotation mates Clay Buchholz (back) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) on the DL, the Red Sox could pull Alfredo Aceves out of the bullpen to replace him. Alternatively, they have Kevin Millwood in Triple-A. Since a poor debut with Pawtucket, he has a 3.47 ERA and a 33/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings.
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.