Before taking on the Yankees at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox placed right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura on the 10-day injured list due to right tricep inflammation.
In a corresponding move, fellow righty reliever Phillips Valdez was recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced Friday evening.
Sawamura last pitched for the Red Sox this past Monday, throwing two pitches to record the final out of the seventh inning in a 13-4 win over the Blue Jays in Buffalo.
Including Monday’s outing, the 33-year-old hurler out of Japan has posted a 2.87 ERA and 4.08 xFIP to go along with 44 strikeouts and 18 walks over 38 relief appearances spanning 37 2/3 innings of work in his debut season with the Sox.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, “there was no indication that he was dealing with an injury before he was placed on the IL.”
Because his stint on the IL was backdated to July 20, the soonest Sawamura can be activated is next Friday, July 30.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including Cotillo) following Friday night’s win over the Yankees that he does not expect Sawamura to miss an extended period of time.
“It’s not bad,” Cora said. “It’s something we feel like… he wasn’t going to be able to post for a few days so we’ll take care of him and see where he’s at in a few days. Hopefully, he’ll be back with us sooner rather than later.”
Valdez, meanwhile, returns to the Boston bullpen after being optioned to Worcester on June 10.
The lanky 29-year-old opened the 2021 campaign with the Sox — his second with the organization — and put up a 4.24 ERA and 3.98 FIP over 20 games (23 1/3 innings).
From the time he was sent down to the WooSox in early June until the time he was called back up on Friday, Valdez pitched to the tune of a 3.38 ERA, allowing a total of four earned runs in 11 appearances that spanned 10 2/3 innings of relief.
As noted by Cotillo, Sawamura is the fourth player the Red Sox have had to place on the injured list since the All-Star break concluded, as he joins the likes of Marwin Gonzalez (right hamstring strain), Christian Arroyo (left hamstring strain) and Danny Santana (left groin strain).
(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)