American League home run leader Nelson Cruz is out of the Mariners’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians after leaving Tuesday’s game with back spasms.
In in his absence Seattle is using Mark Trumbo in right field and Seth Smith at designated hitter versus right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Cruz led the league with 40 homers last season while playing on a one-year deal with the Orioles and then cashed in as a free agent, signing a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners. So far so good, as the 34-year-old right fielder/designated hitter is batting .326 with 18 homers and a .988 OPS in 58 games.
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.