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Adam Wainwright to finish the season in the bullpen

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Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright was shut down in late August — and received a platelet-rich plasma injection — due to a right elbow impingement. He pitched a simulated game yesterday and seemed OK to return, but he’s going to return in a different role: reliever. As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports, it’s simply a matter of time: Wainwright doesn’t have enough time to be stretched out to starting stamina once again before the season ends.

It also may have to do with the fact that the Cardinals just got swept by the Cubs, pushing them back six games in the Central with less than two weeks to play. No one in St. Louis will admit it’s over yet, but I wonder if the long odds of them making the playoffs counsel a more cautious approach with Wainwright. Or if, had they kept things tight with Chicago, he’d be pushing to take the ball as a starter, stamina be damned. He’s certainly gutted through worse things in the past.

Not that Wainwright can’t help the Cards try to do the very difficult from the pen. As you probably remember, Wainwright started his Cardinals career out of the bullpen, throwing 61 games in relief back in 2006, plus nine more games in the playoff as the Cards won the World Series. He likewise came out of the pen for the club in the 2015 playoffs, pitching three games in relief in St. Louis’ NLDS loss.

 

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.