Showing decreased velocity led to Rafael Perez being placed on the disabled list with a strained shoulder muscle in late April and yesterday the Indians transferred the left-hander to the 60-day DL, which means he’s not eligible to return until the end of June.
Perez was initially expected to miss 4-6 weeks, but now he’ll miss at least eight weeks and general manager Chris Antonetti danced around whether the reliever has experienced a setback in his recovery when asked by Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Perez has quietly been one of the top left-handed relievers in the league since debuting in 2006, throwing 329 innings with a 3.64 ERA and 268/117 K/BB ratio, but he’s steadily lost velocity on his fastball and was working in the mid-80s before being shut down.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made a hasty exit from his final Grapefruit League outing on Saturday after sustaining a left hip contusion. He was struck on the leg with a line drive from the Astros’ J.D. Davis in the first inning and immediately collapsed on the mound. He was able to walk off the field without a noticeable limp, however, and later told reporters that the ball struck a nerve and temporarily stunned his leg. As a precautionary move, the Red Sox pulled him after the incident and will have the left-hander undergo X-rays to rule out any further injury to his hip.
This was expected to be Sale’s last start of spring training. Prior to Saturday’s matinee against the Astros, the 28-year-old southpaw made three starts in camp, allowing five runs, one home run, three walks and striking out 18 batters in 14 innings. He’s still on track to start the season for the Red Sox during their road opener against the Rays next Thursday.