Chris Sale injury history and updates

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

In his second rehab appearance with Double-A Portland, Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale pitched 3-2/3 innings and struck out nine on Sunday. He allowed six hits, including a home run, which resulted in a pair of runs allowed.

Chris Sale injury updates

July 20

Sale struck out six batters in a rehab start with the Sea Dogs on Tuesday in his first rehab appearance in Portland.

He threw 3-2/3 hitless innings of action.

Sale found the strike zone in 34 of 49 pitches, per

June 30

The Red Sox got another glimpse at their ace on the mound Wednesday, as starting pitcher Chris Sale continues to work his way back from undergoing Tommy John Surgery in March 2020.

Sale struck out three of four batters he faced in a simulated inning of action at Fenway Park, per Alex Speier of The Boston Globe. Sale reached as high as 95 mph.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora called Sale’s inning “eye-opening” in a press conference on Zoom transcribed by reporters.

Christian Arroyo, who whiffed on a fastball, said in Speier’s article that Sale “looked good. Not good — great.”

Per Cora, via Ian Browne of, the next move for the left-hander is likely another simulated stop at the Red Sox facility in Fort Myers, Fla., followed by a rehab assignment if all goes well.

The site of the rehab hasn’t been decided yet, but Cora mentioned the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs or Triple-A Woo Sox as the most likely possibilities.

Cora was pretty excited about what he saw, which should be really good news for Sale and Red Sox fans.

That’s because Sale hasn’t really been back to throwing those breaking pitches for long.

Speaking with the press about three weeks prior, he had noted they needed some work.

"“I just started throwing breaking balls and the first couple weren’t pretty,” Sale said, quoted in MassLive on June 8. “And my expectation level is still as high, if not higher than it has ever been. I was down in Florida. I was with (Ryan) Brasier. And I threw the first breaking ball and he’s like, ‘You look like you’re confused or something. What did you expect that to look like?’ I was like, ‘I expected that to be nasty. I didn’t expect for the catcher to have to jump to catch it.’ So I fully expect to be who I am and do what I do at the highest level.”"

Sale began throwing off the mound in early May.

Sale could even be a bullpen member in Boston. Asked by reporters about the possibility in June, he expressed that he was open to it. He just wants to get back on the mound in games that count.

Chris Sale injury history

While the news right now is great, Chris Sale’s injury history dates back several years. And before his elbow needed repair, he had shoulder problems as well.

March 2020 — Chris Sale undergoes Tommy John surgery

The Red Sox announced on March 19, 2020, that Sale would undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

At the time, expectations were that Sale might be back in June or July of the 2021 season. Those have turned out to be a little overly optimistic, we know now.

As’s Conor Roche noted, the surgery didn’t really come as a big surprise. Sale had just finished the worst season of his career in 2019, posting a 4.40 ERA and 3.39 WHIP. (Hey, he’s still Chris Sale. His worst is pretty good.)

He made 25 starts that year, the last coming Aug. 13. That’s the last time he pitched in a major league game as well.

July and August 2018 — Chris Sale hits the DL with shoulder inflammation

After averaging 30 starts per year from 2012 to 2017, Chris Sale’s health failed him a bit in the summer of 2018.

On July 28, the Red Sox placed him on the 10-day disabled list (now called the injured list) thanks to a sore shoulder.

He returned for one start, allowing one hit while striking out 12, then landed back on the DL on Aug. 17. Both times the Red Sox listed it as left shoulder inflammation.

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