Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts was removed from Sunday’s lineup after experiencing tightness in his left side, according to a team announcement. It’s not clear exactly when or how Betts sustained the injury, but he’s considered day-to-day while the Red Sox try to determine whether the issue is more serious than it appears.
Betts, 25, has managed to steer clear of the disabled list throughout his five-year career in the majors. He dealt with a minor bout of hamstring tightness earlier this season and was temporarily held back with a contusion in his right shoulder, but has yet to suffer any significant injuries. Through Saturday, he boasted a .359/.437/.750 batting line with a league-leading 19 doubles, 17 home runs, and 1.187 OPS through 213 PA.
Blake Swihart took Betts’ place in left field for Sunday’s series finale against the Braves. It’s his first start in the outfield since June 2016. The Red Sox currently trail the Braves 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.