Red Sox ace Chris Sale takes a big step toward his return
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Chris Sale’s recovery and eventual return to the Red Sox. We’ve seen the photos and videos of The Condor playing catch at Fenway and working out with the guys but beyond that, nothing. However, yesterday that silence finally broke and CBO Chaim Bloom gave a glimpse into what the big lefty has been up to down in Fort Myers.
Sale made a move back down to the spring training facility recently and has been continuing his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. During his road back to the Red Sox the ace has run into a neck injury, a back injury, and even a battle with COVID. With all of that behind him though he’s been able to make enough progress that he has finally pitched from the mound. It was reported last week that Sale had yet to do so in his rehab process and Bloom changed that narrative yesterday afternoon.
"“He did get up off a mound today,” Bloom said. “Really more just to get the feel of it. It was not an extensive throwing session, but at the end of his session this morning, he got up off the mound and threw a few pitches off the mound.”"
This is some great news not just for the Red Sox but for Sale as well as it means that everything he’s been doing is working. He’d be much closer to returning to the team had he not had those setbacks but it’s been wise by Boston to not rush anything in regards to his rehab process. That’s always been the plan for the two sides as at his age, you don’t want to be rushing him back just to send him right back to the IL because of a new injury.
As far as a return that is still up in the air and that feels like the right way to attack that issue. From the get-go Bloom and the Red Sox have made it clear that they wouldn’t rush Sale back to the team and it’s hard to argue with that thought process. Nobody knew that Boston would’ve gotten off to such a hot start and would be in first place, especially after the last two seasons. With that said, they have always had the goal of having him pitch at some point in 2021 to at least get back into the swing of things.
"“That is a great milestone for him. It’s the first time he’s done that since the surgery. It was very light today but great for Chris and awesome for the organization.”"
With the Sox crushing April and looking to repeat that success in May, we very well may see the lefty back closer to the All-Star break than the fall. If they can get him back at 100% and in the rotation at least for a handful of innings for the second half of the season then the rest of the AL should be nervous. You don’t want The Condor on the mound staring you down after the year he’s had, that’s going to be a bad day for you.
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In a perfect world, I wouldn’t hate seeing him return and come out of the bullpen. I’m sure that’s not in Boston’s game plan but it would make perfect sense for the team. They’re light on lefty relievers and the ones that they do have aren’t getting the job done. If they can tread water with their lefties until Sale can come back then he can replace one of them and be the definition of a stopper out of the pen. Something similar to what the Dodgers are doing with David Price could be just what both sides need.
"“Hopefully, I think we’re getting closer to the point where we can start mapping out a timetable,” Bloom said. “I don’t have one. He is progressing. As you know, he started throwing with a lot more intensity. Today, he got up off a mound.”"
Chris Sale hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox since 2019 and it’s been a long time coming for the big lefty. Even when he did pitch that season, Boston was so far out of it that it didn’t matter. With this team fighting and clawing their way to the top anything that he can offer them will be a boost toward getting back to October baseball. Hearing that he’s back on the mound even just for a few tosses is a positive sign. Before we know it we may be seeing No.41 back on the mound making batters look like fools with that slider of his.