Red Sox starter Chris Sale left today’s start after being struck by a comebacker off the bat of J.D. Davis. Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald was first to tweet that the club called it a hip contusion. Thankfully for fans in Boston, the X-rays on his hip came back negative (according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe). For his part, Sale himself has said that he feels fine and that it “looked a lot worse than it actually is.” The lack of serious injury to their prized left-hander brings a sigh of relief to the Red Sox, as they need him now more than ever; Alex Cora announced today that both Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz will begin the season on the DL (h/t Sean McAdams of the Boston Sports Journal). With Steven Wright set to face a 15-game suspension, that leaves Brian Johnson and Hector Velazquez at the back end of the club’s rotation. With David Price no sure bet to stay healthy, any questions surrounding Sale would have been wildly unsettling for a club hoping to compete with a tough Yankees ballclub for the AL East crown.
Other injury-related news from around the league…
- Luke Gregerson, who was projected to be the Cardinals’ closer on opening day, will instead begin the season on the DL. Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outlines the news, which comes as a result of a hamstring strain. The usually-durable Gregerson had also dealt with an oblique injury earlier in the spring, and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return to major-league action. According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the club has said that Dominic Leone or Tyler Lyons will receive closing opportunities. They do not appear close to any sort of deal with free agent closer Greg Holland at this time, Morosi adds.
- Speaking of right-handers who’ll begin the season on the DL, Tim Lincecum’s blister issues will put him in that company as well. Lincecum joined the Rangers on a one-year deal with a $1MM base salary just weeks ago and didn’t pitch competitively in 2017; by his own words, he was unlikely to be ready for opening day anyway. Still, the blister issue will delay The Freak’s comeback bid, which will be an interesting story to watch as the season progresses considering how much he impressed scouts in a February showcase. Lincecum’s last MLB stint was with the Angels in 2016, when he posted a 9.16 ERA across 38 1/3 innings (nine starts).
- Twins right-hander Phil Hughes has a mild oblique strain, according to a tweet from Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. Berardino adds that a DL stint would give him more time to build up arm strength following surgery, though I’d add that Hughes might simply be utilized in a long relief role anyway. For the time being, the Twins will continue to evaluate Hughes.