Chris Sale not hospitalized because of belly button ring infection

Chris Sale
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Amid the hubbub of Saturday’s Game 7 finale between the Dodgers and Brewers, there was some confusion over a statement Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made to the press. Sale was temporarily hospitalized last week with a stomach ailment and later told reporters it was due to a rash he had contracted from a belly button ring.

Per MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

I had irritation from a belly button ring, just constantly taking it in and out, causing irritation and got a rash down there. Had to take care of that. Doctors and nurses over at MGH were awesome. Things happen, you handle them and keep moving forward.

While Sale’s deadpan delivery fooled a few, whatever stomach bug he was actually dealing with has since been cleared up. He tossed a bullpen on Saturday and has been authorized to return to the mound in advance of the World Series opener on Tuesday. The lefty is 2-1 in three postseason appearances this fall and has allowed four runs, six hits, and 14 strikeouts across 10 1/3 innings so far. His last start in Game 1 of the ALCS was capped at just four innings as he issued two runs, four walks, and five strikeouts during the Red Sox’ 7-2 loss to the Astros.

Manager Alex Cora is expected to announce the remaining rotation matchups on Monday. The Dodgers have yet to formally name a starter for Game 1 of the series.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

fried braves
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.