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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.

Jose Bautista is starting at third base for the first time in over four years

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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is getting a rare start at third base today. How rare is it? Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae notes that he last started at third base on April 14, 2013 against the Royals.

Bautista has played some third base already this year. On April 27 against the Cardinals, Bautista pinch-hit for third baseman Chris Coghlan and stayed in the game at the position. Last Saturday, Bautista moved from right field to third base as part of a handful of defensive switches. Overall, he’s played four defensive innings at the hot corner this season.

The Blue Jays have had to get creative at third base while Josh Donaldson has dealt with a calf injury. Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan have drawn most of the starts at third base, but catcher Russell Martin started there on Sunday and tonight we’ll see Bautista there.

Braves’ bullpen hasn’t allowed a hit to last 54 batters, setting franchise record

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The Braves announced on Tuesday, citing Elias Sports, that the bullpen set a franchise record, preventing the last 54 batters faced from getting a hit.

The last reliever to allow a hit was Josh Collmenter to the first batter he faced against the Blue Jays last Thursday. Since then, the bullpen has logged 15 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings with a 10/4 K/BB ratio. Here are the logs since Collmenter gave up that hit.

Date Opp. Pitcher BF IP H R ER BB SO
May 18 vs. TOR Josh Collmenter 7 2.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 18 vs. TOR Ian Krol 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 19 vs. WAS Jason Motte 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 19 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Ian Krol 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Jason Motte 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 21 vs. WAS Luke Jackson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jason Motte 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 22 vs. PIT Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 22 vs. PIT Arodys Vizcaino 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jim Johnson 4 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 54 15.1 0 0 0 4 10

Despite the hot streak lately, the Braves’ bullpen still ranks in the middle of the pack in ERA at 4.07. Its 21.3 percent strikeout rate ranks 18th out of 30 teams and its 8.6 percent walk rate is ninth.