MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that Athletics closer Sean Doolittle has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle. Doolittle apparently suffered the injury on his second-to-last pitch against the Angels on Saturday night. The Athletics have recalled Dan Otero from Triple-A Sacramento.
Doolittle, in the first year of a five-year, $10.5 million contract extension signed back in April, has had a great season. He has saved 20 games with a 2.28 ERA and an 80/5 K/BB ratio over 55 1/3 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Eric O’Flaherty will likely serve as the club’s closer while Doolittle is out.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Tuesday that reliever Dellin Betances will begin the regular season on the injured list due to inflammation and impingement in his right shoulder, the YES Network’s Jack Curry reports. Curry adds that Betances will try throwing again in three to five days.
Betances, who turns 31 years old later this month, has allowed two runs on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings this spring. He has experienced diminished fastball velocity, which is now explained by his injury. The right-hander is coming off of another excellent season in which he posted a 2.70 ERA with 115 strikeouts and 26 walks across 66 2/3 innings.
Fortunately, the Yankees have more than enough depth in the bullpen to withstand Betances’ absence. Aroldis Chapman, Adam Ottavino, and Zach Britton will handle the late innings and Betances will slot back in whenever he is healthy.