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Report: Dexter Fowler, Mike Matheny ‘barely talk’

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Last week, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak put his foot in his mouth when he called into question outfielder Dexter Fowler‘s effort and energy. He said, “I’ve also had a lot of people come up to me and question his effort and his energy level. You know, those are things that I can’t defend.” Mozeliak later tried to walk back his comments. This all happened, by the way, after Fowler left the team to be with his wife Aliya, who was giving birth to their second child.

Fowler, 32, has struggled in the second year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract signed with the Cardinals in December 2016. This season, he has hit a measly .168/.271/.273 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 255 plate appearances. Manager Mike Matheny has been giving Harrison Bader more and more playing time in right field, lessening Fowler’s opportunities.

According to a report from The Athletic’s Mark Saxon over the weekend, Fowler and Matheny “barely talk and haven’t for months.” Matheny was recently asked about Fowler specifically, but he deflected to discuss the team as a whole.

Saxon suggests that a trade by the end of the month isn’t as likely as an offseason trade. Fowler still thinks he can turn things around with his current team. He said, “Yeah, that’s what I signed up for. At the end of the day, it’s what I signed up for and I’m going to give it my all all the time.”

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

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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.