23-year-old Justin Nicolino was rushed to Cincinnati on Saturday morning after Tom Koehler had to be scratched from his scheduled start against the Reds due to a neck injury. Maybe it was helpful to the kid that he had no time to process all of his emotions.
Nicolino fired seven scoreless innings in his major league debut Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park, yielding only four hits and two walks in one of the least pitcher-friendly stadiums in Major League Baseball. Miami grabbed a 5-0 win.
As noted by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the young lefty is the only pitcher in the 23-year history of the Marlins to debut with seven shutout innings. More perspective from Spencer’s game story …
The only other pitchers to make their major-league debuts with the Marlins and go at least six innings without allowing a run were Josh Beckett in 2001 and Adalberto Mendez in 2010.
Brad Penny allowed just one run over seven innings in his debut in 2000.
Nicolino had an impressive 2.87 ERA through 78 1/3 innings this season at Triple-A New Orleans, so maybe this is legit. He was rated a top-100 prospect in 2014 by MLB.com but fell off that list this past winter.
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.