Chris Sale understands it's a perfect time for the Boston Red Sox to be cautious with his troublesome shoulder.
He's just frustrated that he's back on the disabled list.
Boston returned the ace lefty to the 10-day disabled list Saturday after just one healthy start. He was already on the DL earlier this month with what the team called mild shoulder inflammation.
Last Sunday, he was activated against the Baltimore Orioles and struck out 12 in five shutout innings, which extended his scoreless innings streak to 28. He is 12-4 with an AL-leading 1.97 ERA and 6-0 with a 0.20 ERA in his last seven starts.
“It's definitely less than it was last time,” he said, standing in the middle of the clubhouse before Boston's scheduled game against Tampa Bay. “It didn't bounce back, wasn't really responding the way we wanted it to. Given kind of where we are, it was kind of right call to give it some rest and stay on top of it. You don't want to be playing catch up during a time like this.”
With Boston holding a big lead in the AL East and the best record in the majors, Sale will get some rest for what the team hopes will be a long postseason run.
“Obviously terrible timing, not exactly the most ideal situation. To be honest, quite miserable for me. But, at the same time, I'm not going to sit around and pout,” he said.
Manager Alex Cora said the team wasn't about to take any chances.
“I think it's a smart move,” he said. “This guy is very important to what we're trying to accomplish and if he needs to skip one, two, three (starts), whatever, we're willing to do that. He'll be back.”
The 29-year-old Sale is a top contender for the AL Cy Young Award, but he understands the need to be patient this time. He said the treatments seem to be working.
The move Saturday was retroactive to Wednesday. To fill his roster spot, the Red Sox recalled righty Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket. It's his third stint with the team this season. The reliever is 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA in 26 appearances.
Sale was first put on the DL on July 31.
Nationals put Hellickson on DL; Strasburg closer to return
The Nationals have put Jeremy Hellickson on the 10-day disabled list with a right wrist sprain and recalled pitcher Jefry Rodriguez to start against the Miami Marlins.
Washington made the moves before Saturday night's game. The Nationals also recalled pitcher Jimmy Cordero from Syracuse and optioned reliever Trevor Gott to Triple-A.
Hellickson's DL stint, retroactive to Aug. 16, occurs as Washington remains without Stephen Strasburg, who's sidelined with a cervical nerve impingement. The 31-year-old Hellickson is 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 18 starts.
Strasburg threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. He is expected to either start Tuesday's game against the Phillies or make a rehab start in the minors.
Strasburg was put on the DL retroactive to July 22.
“We'll talk to him (Sunday),” manager Dave Martinez said. “We don't know if it's Tuesday here, or Tuesday in a rehab stint. We don't know that. We'll figure that out tomorrow.”
Rodriguez, set for his fifth start with the Nationals, has a 5.84 ERA in six prior appearances.
Gott is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 20 games.
Tigers add Blackwood as player to be named in deal for Fiers
The Detroit Tigers have acquired minor league right-hander Nolan Blackwood from Oakland as a player to be named in the deal that sent pitcher Mike Fiers to the A's.
Fiers was dealt to Oakland earlier this month for two players to be named or cash.
The 23-year-old Blackwood has gone 6-3 with a 4.08 ERA in 39 relief appearances this year with Double-A Midland. He is 9-10 with a 3.56 ERA in 101 career minor league appearances.
Giants activate Strickland, shift Sandoval to 60-day DL
The San Francisco Giants have activated reliever Hunter Strickland from the 60-day disabled list.
Strickland broke his pinkie finger on his right hand when he punched a door in frustration after a blown save against Miami on June 18. He is 3-3 with a 2.84 ERA and 13 saves in 34 games.
Strickland takes the roster spot of rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday after he strained his right hamstring during a brawl with the Dodgers on Tuesday. Infielder Pablo Sandoval, who is out with a strained right hamstring, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Saturday to open a 40-man roster spot.
Indians retire Hall of Famer Jim Thome's No. 25
Hall of Famer Jim Thome's No. 25 has been retired by the Cleveland Indians.
The club's career home run leader, Thome was honored during a ceremony Saturday before the Indians hosted Baltimore. Thome belted 337 of his 612 homers during two stints with the Indians and his powerful swing helped the club rise from a perennial laughingstock to one of baseball's best teams in the 1990s.
Thome's number will be displayed in the upper deck of Progressive Field, between fellow Hall of Famers Bob Lemon's 21 and Larry Doby's 14.
It's been a summer of celebrations for Thome, who was enshrined in Cooperstown last month. He was honored last week by the Chicago White Sox — one of six teams he played for during his 22-year career.