Ten reasons to look forward to the 2022 Red Sox season
A full season of Red Sox starter Chris Sale
It’s been a tumultuous two seasons for Chris Sale. His 2019 season ended in mid-August with elbow inflammation, an issue that lingered into the next spring and eventually required Tommy John Surgery. A bout with Covid–19 and neck stiffness delayed his return even further. Sale finally returned in August of last season, a full two years removed from throwing his last major league pitch.
The results were, to put it simply, mixed. Sale showed flashes of his past self, but his control and command came and went, and his final two starts nearly knocked the Red Sox out of the postseason. The stuff only somewhat resembled that of his prime, and he never really regained the control of his changeup or the sharpness of his slider.
Despite this, there is still hope for the Red Sox ace. After making a self-proclaimed mechanical adjustment in the ALCS, his last two starts against the Astros featured markedly improved fastball velocity and slider break.
Even if Sale is 80% of the pitcher he once was, he will still be a significant boost for a shorthanded Red Sox pitching staff, and it should bring joy to Red Sox fans everywhere that “Sale Day” will return, hopefully for another 30 editions.