The Red Sox have placed first baseman Triston Casas on the 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation, the team announced. In a corresponding move, Bobby Dalbec has been recalled from Triple-A Worcester. In other Red Sox news, starting pitcher Corey Kluber was scratched from his rehab appearance at Triple-A this afternoon. He has been shut down for the remainder of the season, the club revealed to reporters (including Ian Browne of MLB.com).
Casas is in the midst of an excellent rookie campaign, putting up an .856 OPS with 24 home runs. He leads the Red Sox in walk rate and on-base percentage and has been Boston’s best hitter by wRC+. He has been especially hot in the second half, posting a 1.031 OPS since the All-Star break. The 23-year-old is one of only seven AL rookies to qualify for the batting title, and among that group, he ranks first in numerous offensive categories, including OPS, wRC+, and xwOBA. He is likely to earn some down-ballot support for Rookie of the Year, although Gunnar Henderson remains the clear favorite to take home the hardware.
Unfortunately, a sore right shoulder could spell the end of Casas’s season. His IL placement is retroactive to September 15, which means he could return on September 25 at the earliest. By that point, the Red Sox will only have six games remaining, and it’s highly unlikely they’ll be in contention for a Wild Card spot. If Casas returns to full strength, his team would surely love to have him for those final two series, but they have no reason to rush him back.
Taking his place on the active roster will be Dalbec, who has spent most of the 2023 season at Triple-A after a poor major league showing in 2022. Dalbec was phenomenal during a brief cup of coffee in 2020, hitting eight home runs in 23 games. He followed that up with a solid campaign in 2021, posting a .792 OPS and a 106 wRC+ in 133 contests. However, he had a rough time the following year. His OPS fell by more than 100 points and his power seemed to disappear.
Dalbec opened the 2023 season at Triple-A, and he has come up only briefly on a few occasions throughout the year. He has impressive numbers with Worcester – 33 home runs, a .938 OPS, and a 131 wRC+ – although he has underwhelmed in ten games at the major league level, going 2-for-12 with eight strikeouts. The Red Sox will hope he can access his power with the big league club to fill the void in the lineup that Casas left behind.
Kluber was scheduled to make his third rehab appearance at Triple-A on Saturday, but the Red Sox scratched him from the game. He will continue his rehab work at home but will not pitch for Boston again this season. The veteran right-hander has been on the injured list with shoulder inflammation since mid-June.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Kluber enjoyed a mini-renaissance with the Rays last season, making 30 starts for the first time since 2018. However, he has struggled tremendously in his age-37 campaign, pitching to a 6.26 ERA in nine starts and a 9.45 ERA in six appearances out of the bullpen. His contract contains an $11MM team option for 2024, although it is highly unlikely the Red Sox will exercise the option.