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James Shields to 10-day disabled list with strained lat

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The White Sox placed right-hander James Shields on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right lat, according to a club announcement on Friday. The move is retroactive to April 18. Veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey has been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and is expected to replace Shields in the rotation, while outfielder Charlie Tilson will move to the 60-day disabled list to clear space for Pelfrey on the 40-man roster.

A report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin revealed that the strain is not severe, but stemmed from discomfort during Shields’ start against the Twins last Sunday. Merkin also noted that while there are plenty of promising arms awaiting promotion in Triple-A Charlotte, Chicago general manager Rick Hahn felt that Pelfrey would be best suited for what looks to be a temporary stay in the rotation:

From the start, we talked about when these guys do get to Chicago for that last stage of development that happens in the big leagues, we want them to feel comfortable they will get the ball every fifth day,” said Hahn of bypassing the prospects. “It’s not going to be snatched away from them because someone is coming off the DL or their performance isn’t up-to-snuff in any individual start.

Shields is 1-0 to start the 2017 season, touting a 1.62 ERA through three starts with three runs, 10 walks and 16 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

Mike Pelfrey has yet to find his footing on the mound this season, turning in a 7.50 with Triple-A Charlotte after he allowed ten hits, five runs and struck out four in his first two minor league outings last week. He wasn’t much better over a full season’s worth of starts in 2016, going 4-10 with a 5.70 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 during a one-year gig with the Tigers. This will be the right-hander’s first major league stint with the White Sox after they signed him to a minor league contract on April 5.

Jeff Wilpon reminds Mets fans that insuring David Wright “is not cheap”

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It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.

What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.

You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.

Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:

I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.

This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.