Seth Smith is back in the Mariners’ lineup for Saturday night’s game against the Athletics after nursing a groin injury, but manager Lloyd McClendon is making another alteration. Per Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, Nelson Cruz will “play his share of outfield”.
The Mariners signed Cruz, who led the league in home runs with 40 last season, to serve as their DH. Smith was to platoon with Justin Ruggiano in right field. However, McClendon would like to have Smith’s bat in the lineup without taxing him physically by playing him on defense with his groin injury.
McClendon said of Cruz, “I just need to be smart about when I put him out there and make sure he stays healthy throughout the year.”
Cruz seems to be okay with the change in plans. “DH is boring,” Cruz said.
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.