The Red Sox are cruising along with baseball's best record at 75-33 (a 112-win pace, by the way), but they got some bad news on Tuesday. Ace lefty Chris Sale has been placed on the disabled list due to left shoulder inflammation. That's scary, but the Red Sox have said they believe he will only miss one start. 

Even if that doesn't turn out to be true, it doesn't sound like something the club expects to linger. With a six-game lead in the AL East, the Red Sox can afford to miss a start or two from Sale. 

Sale, 29, is 11-4 with a 2.04 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 207 strikeouts in 141 innings. He leads the AL in ERA, WHIP, FIP, strikeouts and strikeout rate (13.2 K/9). 

Perhaps the biggest impact here would be if Sale missed something like three or four starts. That could lead to the lefty missing out on the AL Cy Young, with those missing stats partially contributing to someone else winning. Sale is pretty clearly the best pitcher in baseball who has never won the award. He's finished in the top six each of the past six years, with a second-place finish last season. 

Lefty Brian Johnson will take Sale's spot in the rotation Thursday and likely stay there until Sale is ready for a return.