Royals outfielder Alex Rios jammed his thumb during Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the White Sox. Per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Rios said the thumb is feeling better, but he’ll have to manage it throughout the season.
Rios, 34, had one of his worst seasons from a power standpoint last year. He hit only four home runs and slugged a meager .398 over 521 plate appearances. He had hit double-digit home runs in every season prior, dating back to 2005. Thumb injuries aren’t exactly helpful, so this doesn’t bode well for a bounce-back season from Rios. The Royals signed Rios in December to a one-year, $11 million deal with a $12.5 million mutual option for the 2016 season.
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.