Corey Knebel
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Corey Knebel to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last week, Brewers closer Corey Knebel elicited some concern when it was revealed that he was dealing with a UCL issue in his right elbow. Today, the news is worse: According to a personal pregame announcement, Knebel is set to miss the entire 2019 season after he undergoes Tommy John surgery next Wednesday.

Per MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, Knebel admitted that he had been dealing with lingering elbow soreness since 2014, right around the time that he was toiling in Triple-A Round Rock with the Rangers. He elected to undergo the procedure in hopes of returning to the ‘pen by 2020, though it’s still unclear whether or not he’ll be able to make a full recovery by that point.

The 27-year-old righty did not appear during the Brewers’ 5-4 season opener against the Cardinals on Thursday. He pitched just 5 2/3 innings in Cactus League competition, allowing two hits and two walks and striking out six of 20 batters faced. While he’s still two years removed from the career-high numbers he posted with Milwaukee in 2017, he turned in 16 saves with a serviceable 3.58 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 14.3 SO/9, and 1.0 fWAR through 55 1/3 frames in 2018.

The Brewers, meanwhile, have yet to announce an official replacement for Knebel at the back end of the bullpen. While both the Brewers and Braves have been continuously linked to free agent closer Craig Kimbrel this spring, it doesn’t look as if either team is particularly close to striking a deal with the right-hander just yet.

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.