The Red Sox reinstated Chris Sale to make his season debut tonight against the Rays, as had been reported last week. The veteran southpaw missed the first few months of the year after he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his rib during Spring Training. It’s the third straight injury-impacted season for Sale, who missed all of 2020 and the bulk of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. His return is a necessary welcome development for a Boston club that has five starting pitching options (Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, Garrett Whitlock and Connor Seabold) on the 15-day injured list at the moment.
Boston optioned rookie right-hander Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester in a corresponding active roster move. The 23-year-old, who’s one of the best pitching prospects in the organization, was promoted last week and made his first two big league starts. Bello surrendered nine runs with seven strikeouts and six walks in eight innings, however, so the club will send him back to the minors for a bit. A 40-man roster vacancy for Sale was created yesterday when catcher Kevin Plawecki landed on the COVID-19 injured list, but Boston will need to make another move in that regard once Plawecki is cleared to return.
Updates on a pair of other notable injury moves:
- The Blue Jays welcomed back catcher Danny Jansen from the 10-day injured list, installing him right into tonight’s starting lineup against the Phillies. The 27-year-old missed a month after fracturing a finger on his left hand, his second notable injury of the season. That and an April oblique strain have limited Jansen to just 19 games thus far, but he’s blasted seven home runs in limited action. In a corresponding active roster move, top prospect Gabriel Moreno was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo. A consensus top prospect, Moreno was promoted for his MLB debut shortly after Jansen went down. The 22-year-old only collected one extra-base hit (a double) in his first 60 trips to the plate as a big leaguer, though. With Jansen back and the Jays firmly in win-now mode, they’ll turn back to the veteran while giving Moreno regular reps in Triple-A. Across 36 games with the Bisons, Moreno is hitting .324/.380/.404.
- Last night, the Rangers transferred catcher/designated hitter Mitch Garver from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list. That’s not a surprise, as he’ll miss the rest of the season after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair the injured flexor tendon in his forearm. The move freed a spot on Texas’ 40-man roster, which Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News suggests (on Twitter) is likely to go to reliever Jonathan Hernández. The right-hander hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2021, but he’s been on a rehab stint at Triple-A Round Rock for the past month and a half. Grant notes that his allotted rehab window wraps up tomorrow, meaning he’ll have to be reinstated from the 60-day IL or shut down from his rehab entirely. The former seems likelier, as manager Chris Woodward suggested Hernández should be back with the big league club soon.