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Brett Cecil, Luiz Gohara have lost tons of weight

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Early spring training dispatches spend a lot of time on players’ weights. Makes sense, as one of the first things players do when they report to camp is to step on a scale. Most of the time that scale-stepping is not notable. These are athletes and most of them work out all winter, know their weight to a tenth of a pound and don’t make a point to tell anyone about their weigh-in.

It’s a bit different for some guys, though. Especially bigger fellas who are coming off disappointing years. If and when they come back to camp having cut a bunch of weight, you can bet that we’ll hear about it. It’s not quite a Best Shape of His Life situation, but it serves the same purpose: to send out an early signal that things are going to be better and different this year.

We have two such dispatches today:

Cecil, who is entering the third year of a $30.5 million, four-year contract, is coming off of a terrible season in which he posted a 6.89 ERA, and walked more guys than he struck out in 32.2 innings. His season was interrupted by shoulder and foot injuries, though it’s not entirely clear that they were directly conditioning-related. A bigger issue was probably the great deal of personal setbacks he experienced : his wife lost her father and, before that, her mother was on life-support for a while. He even had to put his dog down last year which, man, that’s terrible too. I can imagine it was hard to concentrate with all of that. Obviously the conditioning improvement will help, but just having a calmer personal life will likely help too.

Gohara’s had a similar mix of tragedy and injury. His father died last offseason which, yeah. He also hurt his ankle and, obviously, wasn’t in great shape. He’s an immensely talented young guy — and as that interview with Braves’ GM Alex Anthopoulos I talked about yesterday revealed, the Braves are putting a lot of pressure on him to step up this year — so coming into camp in shape is a good sign. And really, his personal situation is obviously better this winter than last.

Anyway: now that everyone is done getting weighed, they can start throwing baseballs.

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.