CLEVELAND (AP)The Guardians will be missing one of the reliable arms in their bullpen against the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series.
Right-hander Nick Sandlin’s postseason is over after he suffered a shoulder strain while pitching in Cleveland’s Game 2 win over Tampa Bay to sweep the wild-card series.
The team said Monday that Sandlin underwent an MRI that revealed the strain of his Teres major muscle. He’ll be shut down for up to six weeks, eliminating him from any more games this season.
”Feel bad for him,” manager Terry Francona said as his team prepared in Yankee Stadium for Tuesday’s series opener.
Sandlin was removed in the 10th inning of Saturday’s game – won 1-0 by the Guardians in 15 – with what the team called ”upper arm tightness.” He faced three batters and threw 19 pitches before being replaced by Eli Morgan.
Sandlin was a dependable member of Cleveland’s strong bullpen this season. He went 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 46 games as a set-up man for closer Emmanuel Clase, who led the majors with 42 saves.
Francona said he had hoped the side-arming Sandlin ”would be a weapon” against New York’s right-handed hitters.
The team will replace the 25-year-old Sandlin on the ALDS roster before Tuesday’s 10 a.m. deadline. Among Cleveland’s options are rookie Cody Morris, who was left off the wild-card roster. Also, Aaron Civale is likely to be added after he missed the series against the Rays.
There was a possibility 34-year-old Bryan Shaw could be added after he was designated for assignment on Oct. 1 and assigned outright to Triple-A Columbus two days later. But 15 days must elapse before he can be restored to the big league roster.
Although he wasn’t on the roster for the wild-card round, Shaw was around the team, helping the young pitchers prepare for the postseason, and his contribution was appreciated by Francona and pitching coach Carl Willis.
”Just kind of leading by example, how Bryan goes about his day, how he watches the game, how he prepares himself during the game,” Willis said. ”Young pitchers watch veteran pitchers and they learn from that.
”He is truly a Cleveland Guardian and we are really, really excited and thankful that he wants to be here.”
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