6:37 pm: Ryan Brasier has been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill Sale’s spot on the active roster, according to a report from the Boston Herald’s Steve Hewitt (link).
4:52 pm: It appears the issue may indeed be more serious than initially believed. Per President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski (h/t to Bill Koch of the Providence Journal) the injury is “brand new” and the team will seek a second opinion from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. No timetable has been set for Sale’s return.
4:34 pm: The Red Sox have placed lefty Chris Sale on the 10-Day IL with left elbow inflammation, the team reports.
The 30-year-old Sale’s performance has been much-maligned this season, though apart from his participation in the league-wide gopher-ball parade, his dominant stuff seems very well intact. Sale’s still setting down a league-best 13.32 per nine, walking a minuscule 2.26/9, and getting grounders at a league-average rate. His FIP is a full run lower than his 4.40 ERA, while his 2.94 xFIP (a metric that accounts for his career-worst 19.5% HR/FB) ranks second in the AL to Gerrit Cole.
In short, it’s still all there for Sale, provided the left-hander isn’t dealing with a more serious injury to his left elbow than initially believed. The Red Sox have fallen six and a half games behind Tampa in the team’s quest for a second wild card spot, so perhaps it’d be prudent to give the seven-time all-star all the rest he needs.