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Health Notes: Sale, Middleton, Odor, Ona, Graterol


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Red Sox ace Chris Sale worked off a mound today for the first time in his recovery from March 2020 Tommy John surgery, Jen McCaffrey of the Athletic was among those to relay (Twitter link). There’s still no timetable for Sale’s potential return to game action, although getting on the mound obviously represents a notable step forward. At 18-13, the Red Sox are off to a strong start and could be a legitimate contender in a tough AL East. Boston’s rotation looks to be the weak point on the roster, but it’s held up fairly well so far. Sox starters have a middle-of-the-pack 4.02 ERA/4.00 SIERA over the season’s first month-plus.

Other health situations around the league:

  • This morning, the Mariners announced they’ve placed reliever Keynan Middleton on the 10-day injured list with a right biceps strain. Fellow righty Wyatt Mills was recalled in his place. Middleton, 27, has tossed 11 2/3 innings of five-run ball in the early going, striking out nine against six walks. Middleton, who underwent a Tommy John surgery in May 2018, spent the 2017-20 seasons with the division-rival Angels.
  • The Yankees placed infielder Rougned Odor on the 10-day injured list this afternoon. He’s dealing with a left knee sprain. Right-hander Albert Abreu was recalled to take his place on the active roster. Odor, acquired from the Rangers at the beginning of the regular season, hasn’t offered a whole lot offensively in the early going. He’s hitting just .164/.271/.361 over his first 70 plate appearances with New York. To his credit, Odor has massively improved upon his strikeout and walk rates from recent seasons though.
  • Padres outfielder Jorge Oña underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow yesterday, Dennis Lin of the Athletic was among those to pass along (Twitter link). He’s expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks. Oña, 24, made a very brief MLB debut last season, tallying 15 plate appearances over five games. Other than that limited major league time, Oña only has 103 trips to the plate above the low minors (in Double-A in 2019), so he likely would’ve started the year at Triple-A El Paso even if he’d been healthy.
  • Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol, placed on the injured list last week because of forearm tightness, was known to be headed for an MRI. Fortunately, testing showed no structural damage, manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). That’s especially welcome news since the flamethrowing Graterol underwent a Tommy John procedure back in 2016. There’s still no indication when he might return to game action.