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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Chris Sale: Injured or Resting?

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Chris Sale of the Red Sox at Orioles 8/12/18.

As everyone is now aware, the Boston Red Sox have been the best team all season and are going to enter the playoffs with the best record in the MLB. Many factors go into this, including their new manager, Alex Cora, and MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. At the same time, every competitive team that makes a deep playoff run needs a good pitching staff, in most cases at least one ace. Well almost two years ago, the Red Sox traded for just that in Chris Sale, and he has been everything they could have wished for and more. The only problem is he has a tendency of breaking down towards the end of seasons due to the overuse of his arm. Could that be happening once again?
After a long history of his numbers dropping in August and especially in September, the Red Sox sat down and took a long look at what they could do to prevent it from happening this time around in 2018. It was one of the first things Alex Cora planned to do as he became manager, as it was not handled too well last year. Against the Baltimore Orioles, John Farrell decided to leave Sale in the game just to get his three-hundredth strikeout since his family was in attendance. Of course, it’s a cool accomplishment, but what is more important, individual success or a championship? Cora has done the exact opposite of that this year, often taking him out almost seemingly too early just to ensure he stays healthy and is pitching at his peak performance. 
Shortly before the series against the New York Yankees in which the Red Sox swept them, Sale went on the disabled list (DL) due to inflammation in his shoulder. Sale went on the record and said he was totally fine and that this was just precautionary, stating that if it were the playoffs he would be good to go. He missed two starts, and then returned to action against the Orioles on August 12. Cora only wanted him to go about four or five innings since he was just returning, and Sale posted unbelievably efficient numbers. In five innings of work, he struck out 12 batters while only allowing one hit. He got the win, and followed up after the game saying he felt great and that the next day he would have a better tell on his arm.
August 12 was the last time we saw him. He returned to the DL once again for shoulder inflammation and it is unclear when he will make his next start. It’s probably safe to assume he will be back by the start of the postseason, but Red Sox fans definitely should be a bit concerned at this point. Maybe it is for the better and they really just want to give him as much rest as possible before they need to lean on him heavily in October, or maybe something is really wrong that they are hoping goes away. Either way, it is an intriguing story line with this team and is something to keep a close eye on. Without Chris Sale at full strength, I’m not sure that the Red Sox can compete for a championship, never mind take home the World Series Title.