Mike Lowell has a non-displaced rib fracture

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Mike Lowell was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in one of his ribs after undergoing an MRI and CT scan Friday.

“I’m medically cleared to play and as long as it doesn’t bother me it
should be fine,” said Lowell, who was in the lineup for the first game
of Saturday’s doubleheader against the White Sox. “There’s really
nothing to do. I feel fine. I feel like I’m swing the bat pretty well
lately. I think I feel it more when I go through my tee routine and I
get a number of swings in. That’s when I feel it. Overall I think it’s
OK.”

Lowell suffered the fractured when he collided with John McDonald of the Blue Jays during a play at first base on August 20. The good news is that this doesn’t sound like a Jacoby Ellsbury or Jeremy Hermida situation, but it’s about time to wonder if the Red Sox just aren’t drinking enough milk this season.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.