Red Sox

Red Sox reinstate Moreland from IL, send Weber to PawSox

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USA Today Sports

Red Sox reinstate Moreland from IL, send Weber to PawSox

The Boston Red Sox now have another option at the first base position.

On Friday afternoon, the team activated Mitch Moreland from the 10-day IL, according to a press release sent out by the team. Moreland is returning from a back strain and will now resume his normal role as the team's lefthanded bat in the first-base platoon.

So far this year, Moreland is hitting just .228, but he has a team-leading 13 homers and has continued to play good defense at first base. His presence will afford the Red Sox an opportunity to give Michael Chavis some time to rest amid a slump that he is in. Chavis is hitting a paltry .107 with a whopping 15 strikeouts in his last seven games (six starts) mostly at first base.

Moreland will be in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. He will bat fifth against in the order against righthander Yonny Chirinos.

To make room for Moreland on the active roster, the Red Sox sent pitcher Ryan Weber down to Pawtucket. Weber had a 1-1 record with a 5.12 ERA in six appearances for the big-league club.

Weber had been used as a spot starter in recent weeks, but he only lasted 1 1/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday, and the Red Sox had to use seven total pitchers in the victory as a result. His best outing came in his six-inning start against the Toronto Blue Jays where he allowed only one run.

The motivation to send down a pitcher instead of reserve first baseman, Sam Travis, may have come due to J.D. Martinez's injury. Martinez is dealing with back spasms once again and will be out of the lineup on Friday. Perhaps when he's healthy and the Sox don't need as many bench players, Weber could return to the big-league club again.

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Chris Sale's illness-related setback a 'gut punch' to Red Sox ace

Chris Sale's illness-related setback a 'gut punch' to Red Sox ace

The Boston Red Sox need a new Opening Day starter.

Chris Sale will begin the 2020 season on the injured list as he recovers from the pneumonia he contracted earlier this month, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Thursday.

Sale had hoped to be ready for Opening Day as he works back from an elbow injury that shut him down last August. But the 30-year-old missed two weeks of rehab due to his pneumonia, which means his first start of 2020 will be pushed back two weeks.

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"We didn’t think four starts in Spring Training was fair to him to make him start the season," Roenicke told reporters, via WEEI's Rob Bradford. "He’ll open up on the DL. We can backdate it three days. We’ll try to figure out exactly where that puts him."

The good news is that Sale's elbow appears to be in a good place: He's set to throw to live batting practice Saturday, and if he follows Roenicke's timeline, his 2020 debut could come April 6 in Boston's home game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

But someone other than Sale will start for the Red Sox on Opening Day for the first time since 2017, which isn't sitting well with the veteran hurler.

"It was a gut punch," Sale said, per Bradford. " ... The only thing that hurts is my ego, and that doesn't matter."

" ... Do I like it? Absolutely not. Do I respect it? 100 percent."

Sale's setback also is an unfortunate development for a Red Sox rotation that already lost David Price and Rick Porcello this offseason.

Eduardo Rodriguez figures to make his first career Opening Day start in Sale's stead, while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are Boston's only other healthy starting pitchers.

The Red Sox still don't have a fifth starter, and Roenicke's club may have to operate with just three legitimate starters for the first two weeks of the season.

That's not exactly a promising scenario for a team that's already taken plenty of lumps this offseason.

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Wednesday was another tough day on the injury front for the New York Yankees.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed slugger Giancarlo Stanton "will be down for a bit" due to a Grade 1 right calf strain. The news comes one day after it was announced right-hander Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2020 campaign.

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Injuries have been par for the course with Stanton ever since he first donned Yankee pinstripes in 2018. The former National League MVP has played in only 176 of 324 regular-season games with New York due to bicep, shoulder, and knee ailments.

The Yankees still boast a well-rounded roster that can survive Stanton's absence for a while, but his presence in the middle of the lineup is key to their success. If the 30-year-old indeed misses time, it could be Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, or Mike Tauchman taking his spot in the lineup.

New York's 2020 season begins March 26 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.