Marcus Stroman is getting closer to rejoining the Blue Jays

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Marcus Stroman was originally thought to be lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during a routine fielding drill in early March, but he has made amazing progress in his rehab (even finishing his degree at Duke University along the way) and there’s now a good chance he’ll be pitching for the Blue Jays this month.

Stroman made his first minor league rehab start Wednesday night with Class A Lansing and he showed no signs of rust at all, tossing 4 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. He walked one batter and struck out seven while throwing 44 out of 69 pitches for strikes. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The plan calls for Stroman to throw a bullpen session Friday before making another rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo on Monday. He’s slated to rejoin the Blue Jays from there, likely as a member of the starting rotation, which would be quite a boost for a team which has been rolling since late July. According to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca, Stroman is understandably amped up at the propsect of playoff baseball.

“It just shows that all the hard work paid off. Nobody puts higher expectations on me than myself; and no one has more confidence in me than myself,” Stroman said. “I’m more motivated and more hungry now than I’ve ever been. And I’m ready to get back to the big leagues and contribute to this unbelievable team and to get to the playoffs. I’m ready to do something special.

Stroman, 24, posted a 3.65 ERA and 111/28 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings over 20 starts and six relief appearances as a rookie last season.

Ben Lindbergh of Grantland wrote an excellent piece about the science behind Stroman’s rehab. It’s well worth checking out.

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.