Boston Red Sox

Apr 5, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the home opener at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Red Sox have gotten off to their impressive start in 2021, many have wondered what would happen if a red-hot Red Sox team were to get Chris Sale back for a playoff push? On Tuesday, that hypothetical came one step closer to being a reality.

Speaking with the media Tuesday afternoon, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters Sale threw off a mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery over a year ago. Bloom described the throwing session, which took place in Fort Myers, as “pretty light” but still noted that it is a major step in the process.

“I think we’re getting closer to the point where we can start mapping out a timetable,” Bloom mentioned. “The next step is to get into regular mound work and mound work with some intensity. Then we can start thinking about facing hitters and mapping out a game schedule.”

Sale’s return has been delayed due to numerous setbacks including a neck issue, back issue, and COVID-19. When he is cleared, which isn’t expected to be until after the All-Star break at the soonest, he’ll go through both internal and external rehab assignments, according to Bloom.

Without Sale, the Red Sox rotation has rebounded after a horrific 2020. Through 29 games, Red Sox starters have a combined 12-8 with an ERA of 3.98, down from 5.34 last season.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.