Everyone has been anticipating starting pitcher Chris Sale’s return to action for the Boston Red Sox. And rightly so, with Sale being a seven times All-Star. However, after sustaining a stress fracture of the right rib during a practice session, his season debut continues to be put on ice.
It had been reported that the Red Sox expected Sale to begin his rehab this week. That rehab plan would have seen him make five innings with his throws being in the pitching range of between 65 & 70. However, to everyone's disappointment, the thirty-three-year-old only made it as far as 3 /23 innings before having to call it a day.
The left-hander, who looked well off the pace in terms of the levels he usually sets, will now likely have to put more work in if he’s to find his command. While he did make it to seventy-two pitches, inconsistency crept in, which stood out like a sore thumb. However, Sale himself didn’t quite see things like others, which could be a positive sign if he’s to get back playing Major League Baseball anytime soon.
Sale suggests that he’s “very ready to pitch for the Red Sox.” And he went on to add that his recent disappointing display was “a hiccup” and “it’s nothing that can’t be ironed out.” So, now it will likely come down to whose opinion counts and who is right. But, with Sale believing that he’s ready to go and will be firing on all cylinders when he gets serious game time under his belt, there may not be a cause for concern. Although, Sale did admit that he’s willing to let the Red Sox dictate how things go regarding his return.
The general consensus is that the Red Sox ideally wants to see Sale get through some extra work before he makes his Major League Baseball return. And Sale is said to be on board with this, even though he already feels like he's ready to go. So, multiple bullpen sessions in the coming days are likely to be on the menu for the southpaw, and it will not do any harm.
Determining when Sale will return to action will depend on how many bullpen sessions he undertakes. Usually, you will often see pitchers get one bullpen session between starts. But the likelihood is that the Red Sox and Sale himself will go down the line of multiple runs in the bullpen, which means he’s not going to be ready for the game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
But, if Sale is ready quicker than expected, and the belief is that his WooSox outing was a hiccup, he could be prepared to take on the Rays and then go on to face the New York Yankees. The Red Sox are in a great position because they’re in control of the situation, and Sale is prepared to play if needed.