Cora's DL Stint Creates Trickle-Down Effect

Alex Cora, who sprained his right elbow during batting practice last Thursday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 10) by the Red Sox Wednesday.

Cora has reached base in all five of his plate appearances this season via three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. He made one start (April 2 against the Athletics in Oakland) and last appeared in a game April 9, when he pinch-hit against the Tigers at Fenway Park. Cora, 32, is in the final season of a two-year deal he signed with the Sox following the 2006 season.

The placement of Cora on the disabled list set off a chain reaction of transactions. To replace Cora, the Sox purchased the contract of infielder Joe Thurston from Triple-A Pawtucket. Thurston, 28, was hitting .255 with no homers, two RBI and one stolen base in 12 games for the PawSox. Thurston, who was in spring training with the Sox as a non-roster invitee, hit .351 with one homer and 20 RBI in exhibition play.

Thurston has previously appeared in the big leagues with the Dodgers and Phillies and has hit .259 with two RBI in 55 games. Thurston is back in the majors for the first time since 2006, when he hit .222 in 18 at-bats for the Phillies. He was originally selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1999 draft.

With the addition of Thurston, the Sox' 40-man roster is full.

Thurston was replaced on Pawtucket's roster by infielder Jeff Natale, who was promoted from Double-A Portland. Natale was hitting .241 with one homer and four RBI in nine games for the Sea Dogs. He had six walks and just one strikeout in 29 at-bats.

It is the first promotion to Triple-A for Natale, who hit .270 with five homers, 64 RBI and an Eastern League-best 88 walks for the Sea Dogs last year. Natale, 25, is ranked 40th in Diehard's 2008 prospect guide. He was originally selected by the Sox in the 32nd round of the 2005 draft out of Trinity College.

Natale was replaced on Portland's roster by outfielder Jeff Corsaletti, who was promoted from extended spring training in Ft. Myers, FL. Corsaletti also spent all of last season in Portland and hit .266 with six homers, 58 RBI, 21 doubles and a team-best 20 stolen bases. Corsaletti, 25, is ranked 31st in Diehard's 2008 prospect guide. He was originally selected by the Sox in the sixth round of the 2005 draft out of Florida.


More Sea Dogs bites: Sea Dogs fans saw plenty of familiar faces while watching the Sox' 5-3 win over the Indians Tuesday. Four former members of the Sea Dogs saw action for the Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury (2006-07), Jed Lowrie (2007), Dustin Pedroia (2005) and Kevin Youkilis (2003)…Matt Goodson's start for the Sea Dogs Tuesday was his first appearance in a game since last July 8, when he pitched for Single-A Lancaster…The Sea Dogs improved to 8-3 with their win Tuesday. It's the fifth time in team history the Sea Dogs have been 8-3 or better after 11 games.


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752.

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