Boston’s ace pitcher has not pitched a game in the MLB since 2019. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in early 2020, the Red Sox knew Chris Sale would not return until well into 2021. Now Sale has begun rehab assignments in Boston’s farm system. So far, all signs seem positive for the lefty.
Impressive Stints In Portland
In July, Sale was officially put on rehab assignment. This was exciting news for everyone in Red Sox Nation. Boston’s star pitcher would finally be pitching in a live baseball game for the first time since 2019. The Red Sox and their fans have yearned to see Sales killer slider again.
Chris Sale has now pitched in three games, one in the Florida Complex League and two for the double-A Portland Sea Dogs. In those three games, Sale has produced 20 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 1.74. It might be the minor leagues, but a pitcher just returning from surgery putting up numbers like that in rehab is impressive. Fans do not seem to mind that it is just the minors though, as the Sea Dogs completely sold out their game on July 20. That was thanks to the fact that Sale was expected to start.
How Long Until Sale Is In Boston?
Sale has shown that surgery has not slowed him down. But last thing the Red Sox want is to bring him back too early. Sale’s next step in rehab would be to play in Worcester for Boston’s triple-A affiliate. Most likely Sale will start at least two games in Worcester just as he had in Portland.
Depending on Sale’s performance and his condition, Sale could be back on the Red Sox before mid-August. Again though, this is not exactly a situation Boston wants to rush. Call up Sale too early and he could end up re-aggravating his elbow. If the Red Sox intend to play this situation safe, the could wait till September before bringing Sale back.
Well Worth The Wait
Right now, the Red Sox are not exactly in a dire situation. At the time of writing, the Red Sox are sitting on the best record in the American League. Boston’s current pitching rotation has also performed well above expectations. While the division race is tight with the Tampa Bay Rays, there still really is no reason to rush Sale back up.
When Sale does eventually join the team, it will be an incredible boost to an already outstanding ball club. While the Red Sox may be cautious with Sale’s rehab, they probably will not have to wait till September for him to be ready. Chris Sale is a world class pitcher and if the Red Sox have to wait until he is at full form again, they will. No matter when Sale comes back, he most likely will factor heavily into Boston’s postseason. Only if his recovery is not rushed, though.
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