Chris Sale

Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports

Chris Sale placed on disabled list with mild left shoulder inflammation

John Tomase
July 31, 2018 - 5:50 pm

The Red Sox barely had 12 hours to enjoy the fruits of a successful trade deadline before reality smacked them in the face on Tuesday when they placed ace left-hander Chris Sale on the 10-day disabled list with mild left shoulder inflammation.

Both Sale and the team stressed that the injury should only sideline him for one start, which will be Thursday's series opener against the Yankees, with left-hander Brian Johnson taking his place. Sale wanted to take the hill, but decided to be smart after he didn't bounce back like he had hoped from his last couple of starts.

"It's not easy," Sale said. "I was pretty upset when the final decision was made. At the end of the day, I've go to do what's best not only for the tam, but myself. I don't think me going out there not at 100 percent is going to help us. I don't think if I did go out there and possibly risk something more severe that would do any good either. It's a pretty crappy situation. I don't like it at all. I'm a pitcher that pitches. I don't like sitting on the sidelines just watching someone else do my job for me. But it happens."

Sale, who was placed on the DL retroactive to July 28, has felt minor soreness that the team possibly attributes to a change in slider grip, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said, though Sale later disputed that characterization. The hope and expectation is that Sale misses only Thursday's start vs. the Yankees.

"We think it's a short time period," Dombrowski said. "He just said it's really been more mounting. It's been something that's bothered him a little bit."

It hasn't shown in his performance. Sale, who started the All-Star Game, is 11-4 with a league-leading 2.04 ERA and 207 strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches over six shutout innings in his last start, vs. the Twins, striking out 10 and allowing only three hits.

"No, I don't think it has anything to do with grips or mechanics or anything like that," Sale said. "I'm a pitcher. Sometimes we have to deal with it. That being said, I feel like if were in a different position and push came to shove, I'd be able to make this next start, I'd be pitching in two days. Given that we have two months left in front of us, we're a very deep team. We trust everybody equally around here. We thought it would be best to have Brian step in and make that start."

To replace Sale on the roster, the Red Sox recalled right-handed reliever Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Dombrowski stressed that Sale was being DL'ed out of an abundance of caution and that the injury is not considered serious. He said the team will be proactive during a treatment so that Sale can continue throwing his slider. Dombrowski added that a MRI wasn't deemed necessary, a point Sale seconded.

"If this was something more serious, I would tell you," he said. "We're not hiding anything. This is nothing that we're worried about. This is a concern at most. This isn't something I deemed necessary or anyone thought necessary to get an MRI. Just a little soreness in our pitching arm. Take some Advil, get it rubbed down, and ready to go."