Matt Thornton is headed to the disabled list with an oblique strain just 10 appearances after the Red Sox acquired him from the White Sox.
Thornton mostly worked the eighth inning for Boston, so the bullpen will have to reshuffle a bit in his absence. And based on the usual recovery timetable for oblique injuries–which can often linger much longer than initially expected–the impending free agent may not pitch again until September.
Thornton suffered the injury Sunday and had hoped to avoid the DL, but Pedro Beato has been recalled from Triple-A to take his place in the bullpen.
Yesterday the Red Sox acquired reliever Pedro Beato from the Mets to complete the Kelly Shoppach trade and to make room for Beato on the Triple-A roster today they released Mark Prior.
Prior had impressively racked up 38 strikeouts in 25 innings as a reliever for Pawtucket, holding opponents to a .172 batting average. So why would the Red Sox release him from Triple-A? Because he couldn’t throw the ball over the plate, walking 23 batters in those 25 frames.
That includes a 15/13 K/BB ratio in 15 innings over his last 10 appearances, during which time Prior coughed up seven runs.
Obviously with nearly 14 strikeouts per nine innings and a sub-.200 batting average against there’s still some juice left in Prior’s oft-injured arm and he’s still only 31 years old, but he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006 and clearly wasn’t going to get an opportunity with the Red Sox.
Earlier this week the Red Sox traded Kelly Shoppach to the Mets for a player to be named later and today that player was revealed as reliever Pedro Beato.
Beato appeared in 60 games for the Mets last season and pitched decently as a 24-year-old rookie, but has spent most of this season at Triple-A with a 4.14 ERA and 27/11 K/BB ratio in 37 innings.
He was originally an Orioles first-round pick in 2006, going to the Mets as a Rule 5 pick in December of 2010.
So, basically the Red Sox and Mets swapped an impending free agent part-time catcher for a mediocre middle reliever under team control for a while.