Chris Sale inches closer to returning for the Boston Red Sox
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard any news in regards to the ace of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff, Chris Sale. The leader of the squad for the Sox is on the long road back from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2020 season. While the fire-breathing lefty has been working down the road to recovery in Fort Myers, we recently received an update on his progress.
Per Chris Cortillo of Masslive.com, The Condor is expected to begin throwing off the mound as the calendar flips to February. This is good news for the Red Sox as they’ve taken the smart and patient approach with Sale’s recovery this past year. Considering the contract that hangs over the head of the lefty, it was wise for Boston to take their time as far as his comeback is concerned.
Getting Sale back in 2021 will instantly increase the quality of the starting rotation, one that finished dead last in the Majors in 2020, as the team continues to plot their attack for adding pitching depth. There are two massive question marks surrounding the rotation ahead of spring training and one of which is linked with Sale. With the news that his road to recovery will allow him to begin throwing from the mound soon, that question mark will begin to fade.
There hasn’t been a set return date or Sale as we all know that nothing is certain in regards to surgery of this caliber. The early estimates had him coming back to the Red Sox sometime this summer with July as the most likely time frame. Then it was said that we may see him make his comeback even sooner but there’s no real way to predict when The Condor may be back in live game action.
Even if Boston only gets a half-season from Sale having him back on the mound in meaningful games will be a boost to the team’s efforts in 2021. It’s been a long while since Red Sox Nation has been able to see the lefty work his magic and dominate the opposition with his slider. His 2019 campaign was not only cut short but was a disappointment up until the time it was prematurely halted.
That 2019 season would see Sale post a 6-11 record through 147.1 innings with a career-worst 4.40 ERA. Even with injuries limiting what he was capable of achieving that year the southpaw still amassed an insane 13.3 K/9 to 2.3 BB/9 splits. That miserable season would also see the end of his All-Star nod streak, a run that saw him make seven straight appearances in the mid-season event.
Though he’s never won a Cy Young, Sale is still considered one of the best pitchers in the game today. His efforts in the 2018 season as the Red Sox marched toward their ninth championship will never be forgotten. A 12-4/2.11/158/0.861 effort through the regular season would see Boston head into the postseason with 108 wins under their belt. His October would be riddled with mixed results and a mysterious stomach ailment but that didn’t stop the fire from burning.
As the Red Sox were seemingly laying down for the Dodgers in the World Series, it was Sale that raised his voice and lit the collective fire under the team. Even if he couldn’t pitch to the standard that he had for himself, he was going to continue to lead this squad to a title.
We all remember him getting the call in the bottom of the ninth of Game 5 as the Red Sox were just three outs from raising the Commissioner’s Trophy. Making Manny Machado look like an absolute moron in the process only made winning it all that much sweeter.
There’s still plenty of time and recovery on the docket for Sale as he marches his way back towards the Red Sox and the 2021 season. With him preparing to take the mound in the near future that return dream is becoming more of a reality. Getting the lefty back into the rotation and firing on all cylinders will only give Alex Cora another weapon going forward. Hopefully, all of the rest, recovery, and hard work pays off and we see Sale at Fenway Park sooner rather than later.