The Boston Red Sox have placed right-handed starter Nick Pivetta on the injured list with a right elbow flexor strain, the team announced ahead of its Tuesday afternoon game against the Baltimore Orioles. In a corresponding move, the Red Sox recalled left-hander Brennan Bernardino from Triple-A Worcester.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters the strain is "mild" in severity and that he hopes Pivetta will return when he's eligible to come off the IL.

Pivetta, 31, has not pitched since April 3 on account of the Red Sox having two days off during that time. In his first two appearances this year, he surrendered one run on eight hits in 11 innings. He also struck out 13 batters while issuing just a single walk. 

Pivetta, slated to be a free agent at season's end, had made a noticeable change to his pitch mix. He's placed less emphasis on his mid-90s fastball, and more on a sweeper that had, in turn, generated a 33.3% whiff rate.

If Pivetta does return in a matter of weeks, it'll represent a positive outcome for this sort of injury. According to Baseball Prospectus' recovery database, pitchers who experience a flexor strain miss 66 days on average. Every player's injury and recovery process is unique to themselves, so it's not quite an apple-to-apple comparison. Likewise, while flexor strains can serve as a precursor to Tommy John surgery, that may end up not being the case here.

The Red Sox have not announced who will start Wednesday's game in place of Pivetta. Kutter Crawford, who last started on April 5, could take the mound on normal rest. Boston does have a pair of healthy starting pitchers on their 40-player roster who are stationed in Triple-A: righties Cooper Criswell and Naoyuki Uwasawa, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the end of spring and would be making his big-league debut if he's called upon to start.