Mookie Betts diagnosed with left abdominal strain

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In yet another concerning injury report, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has been diagnosed with a left abdominal strain and will be placed on the 10-day disabled list. Betts hadn’t appeared in a game since last Saturday, when he felt some tightness in his left side and was held out of the Sox’ series finale against the Braves. No corresponding roster move has been made just yet, though the club expects to find a replacement for Betts prior to their next game.

This is the first serious injury the 25-year-old outfielder has sustained all year, though he’s missed a few days here and there with a shoulder contusion and hamstring tightness, among a variety of minor ailments. There seems to be no indication that he’ll be held back for a long period of time, and as the move is retroactive to May 29, Betts could return as soon as June 8 if his recovery goes according to plan.

Until now, nothing has interfered with Betts’ remarkable start to the 2018 season: he rose to the top of the leaderboard after slashing .359/.437/.750 with 17 home runs, a 1.187 OPS and 4.1 fWAR in 213 plate appearances. He appeared to be on pace to eclipse his career-best numbers from 2016 and might still make a strong candidate for a third consecutive All-Star nomination as well.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.