D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Sale Stress

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Some around the game have long worried about whether Chris Sale's lanky build and unusual delivery would eventually catch up with him. Hopefully we're not at that point yet.

Sale is headed to the disabled list for the first time in his career due to a flexor muscle strain in his throwing arm. The news comes four days after he threw a career-high 127 pitches over seven innings of one-run ball against the Red Sox. An MRI showed no ligament damage, so it could certainly be worse. As of now, the White Sox are hopeful that he won't have to miss more than 15 days.

Sale has had some minor scares in the past, including two years ago when the White Sox nearly moved him to the closer role, in part due to concerns as to whether he could hold up as a starter. Of course, that experiment only lasted about a week and a half. The young left-hander also missed one start last year due to shoulder tendinitis. But he has managed to avoid the disabled list until now.

Sale has been fantastic as a starter in the majors, posting a 3.02 ERA and 446 strikeouts over 432 2/3 innings. This includes a 2.30 ERA in his first four starts this year. Fantasy owners will have to hope that this is just another minor scare for Chicago's ace.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day, $55,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night's MLB games. It's just $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Cuddyer Sidelined; Opportunity Knocks for Dickerson

When Michael Cuddyer tweaked his left hamstring while running to first base last Thursday, he initially thought that he wouldn't have to miss much time. However, after watching him sit out the entire weekend, the Rockies were forced to place him on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

An MRI confirmed that Cuddyer is dealing with a strain in his tendon area. The veteran outfielder told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that he's only about to run at about "50-60 percent" intensity right now, so the hope is that some rest will get him back on track.

With Cuddyer sidelined, preseason sleeper Corey Dickerson figures to get regular playing time in Colorado's outfield. Charlie Blackmon's emergence has forced him to take a back seat until now. The 24-year-old made the start in center field on Monday against the Giants and went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a stolen base. He showed serious power potential in the minors and had 23 extra-base hits (including five home runs) in 69 games as a rookie last season. He's well worth adding in deeper mixed fantasy leagues in the short-term.

More Cracks in Kimbrel?

After missing a week due to left shoulder soreness, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel looked awfully rusty in his return to action Saturday against the Mets, ultimately being pulled with two outs and the bases loaded. Things weren't much better for him Monday against the Marlins, as he blew his first save of the season.

After entering the top of the ninth inning with a one-run lead, Kimbrel issued a leadoff walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia before Adeiny Hechavarria reached on catcher's interference. This set up a game-tying double from Derek Dietrich. It would have been a go-ahead hit if pinch-runner Reed Johnson got a better read on the ball. Fortunately for the Braves, Kimbrel rebounded from there by getting Jeff Baker, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna to strike out swinging to end the threat. The Braves eventually won the game in the bottom of the 10th inning on a walk-off two-run homer from Evan Gattis.

We're used to seeing Kimbrel as automatic at the end of games, so back-to-back shaky outings since his shoulder issue is understandably raising some eyebrows. Still, while the command appears off, the velocity is fine. Kimbrel also told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Monday's game that his shoulder feels better now than it did before he was shut down. We'll have to take him at his word for now.  

AL Quick Hits: Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-4 in Monday's loss to the White Sox and is now hitting .206 with one home run and a 15/6 K/BB ratio through 16 games … Jason Kipnis homered and doubled in a win over the Royals on Monday … Felix Hernandez was knocked around for six runs -- two earned -- over seven innings in a loss to the Astros on Monday … Shin-Soo Choo left Monday's game against the Athletics with left ankle soreness … Yoenis Cespedes (heel) was not in Monday's starting lineup, but appeared as a pinch-hitter … Clay Buchholz was chased after giving up six runs in 2 1/3 innings in a loss to the Orioles on Monday in the annual Patriots' Day game …  Tommy Hunter survived a shaky ninth inning Monday against the Red Sox to lock down his fifth save of the season … The struggling Brad Miller was dropped from second to ninth in the order Monday against the Astros … Jarrod Dyson was activated from the bereavement list Monday and should see significant playing time in center field while Lorenzo Cain (groin) is on the disabled list … J.J. Hardy (hamstring) sat out Monday's game and is considered day-to-day … John Danks yielded one run over 6 1/3 innings Monday in a win over the Tigers … The Astros placed right-hander Scott Feldman on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis … Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon indicated Monday that James Paxton (lat) is unlikely to return before late May … Matt Harrison (back) is on track to rejoin the Rangers' rotation Friday against the Mariners … Matt Dominguez went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, and three RBI in Monday's win over the Mariners ...

NL Quick Hits: Clayton Kershaw (upper back muscle strain) will throw another bullpen session Tuesday and could begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday … Carlos Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Monday night against the Giants and will attempt to play through left knee tendinitis … Cliff Lee struck out 10 batters and walked none over eight scoreless innings in a win over the Dodgers on Monday ... Jean Segura was dropped to seventh in the order Monday … Aroldis Chapman (facial fractures) could throw to live hitters Wednesday, setting up a potential minor league rehab assignment … Mike Minor (shoulder) will throw a side session Tuesday and could be activated Saturday against the Reds … Julio Teheran fanned eight batters and allowed one run in seven innings Monday in a no-decision against the Marlins … Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-4 with two home runs and a walk in Monday's win over the Giants … Francisco Rodriguez notched his fourth save in the past four days Monday … Jenrry Mejia struck out seven batters over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Monday's win over the Cardinals … Nationals manager Matt Williams indicated Monday that Wilson Ramos might be ahead of schedule in his recovery from April 2 hamate bone surgery … Wily Peralta struck out six and allowed three runs -- two earned -- over 6 1/3 innings in a victory over the Padres on Monday …  The Pirates placed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation … New Mets closer Kyle Farnsworth notched his first save of the season Monday with a scoreless ninth inning against the Cardinals … Travis Wood tossed seven innings of one-run ball and homered and drove in four runs in Monday's win over the Diamondbacks … Cameron Maybin (biceps) is likely to be activated during the Padres' 10-day road trip … New Pirates first baseman Ike Davis hit a grand slam in Monday's win over the Reds … Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, four RBI, and two runs scored Monday against the Dodgers ...



D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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