Chris Sale has likely avoided Tommy John surgery, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be back on the mound in the near future. In fact, an official release from the Red Sox on Monday would indicate that Sale’s 2019 season is over.
“Sale was evaluated by Dr. James Andrews this morning in Pensacola, Florida. Dr. Andrews confirmed that Sale has inflammation in his left elbow and treated it with a platelet-rich plasma injection,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said in the statement. “Dr. Andrews also recommended a period of shutdown from throwing. Sale will be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. Andrews.”
It beats the alternative of the aforementioned surgery, of course, but it’s not exactly a sign that everything’s a-okay for Sale in regards to the 2019 season, beginning with the fact that he received a platelet-rich plasma injection, which typically comes with a multi-week recovery before a return to the mound.
There’s also the ‘six week re-evaluation’ that throws an obvious wrench into any comeback hopes down the stretch, as six weeks to the day would land Sale back in Dr. Andrews’ office the day after Boston’s regular-season slate comes to an end. Meaning that even a positive diagnosis would require the Sox making the postseason (they’re currently 6.5 games out of the second wild card) and Sale having enough juice (and a clean bill of health) to be a factor for their postseason roster.
Sale, who signed a five-year extension worth $145 million with Boston just before the start of the regular season, has a 6-11 record and 4.40 ERA with 218 strikeouts in 25 starts this season.