Pirates are “essentially committed” to Pedro Alvarez as their starting first baseman

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Pittsburgh designated for assignment this season’s starting first baseman, Ike Davis, and general manager Neal Huntington told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that the Pirates “have essentially committed” to Pedro Alvarez as their new first baseman.

Alvarez was previously the Pirates’ starting third baseman, but throwing problems forced him to stop playing the position and now Josh Harrison is cemented as the starter there.

Instead of parting ways with Alvarez the Pirates have decided to shift him across the diamond to first base, where his throwing problems will hopefully be a non-factor and his offense will hopefully return to 2012/2013 levels. Alvarez strikes out a ton and is a career .235 hitter, but he led the league with 36 homers in 2013 and also went deep 30 times in 2012.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.