Boston Red Sox

Apr 28, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) walks off the field during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox announced Tuesday a new injury for Chris Sale – The team confirmed Sale underwent surgery to repair a broken wrist from a bicycle accident and will be missing the rest of the 2022 season. Jen McCaffrey, who covers the Boston Red Sox for The Athletic, joined Toucher & Rich this morning to share her thoughts on the situation, how things are adding up in a weird way when it comes to Chris Sale and his injuries and how this latest injury to the Red Sox doesn’t take Chaim Bloom off the hook for a lackluster season.

FRED: What’s going on with Chris Sale. And the only reason this is kind of interesting to me is that I never heard of a guy breaking a rib throw. And I know Dave Dravecky broke his arm and it was gross. So he allegedly breaks a rib throwing, and now he’s riding a bike in public in Brookline and he falls, breaks the wrist. Are you aware of anyone seeing it or anything going on? Do you believe that this is what happened? 

JEN MCCAFFREY: It is weird, right? You know, putting aside the fact that he just broke his pinky finger earlier in the week, even if he hadn’t done that, it is weird that he’d be riding a bike, two weeks later, even if it’s completely healed. And he is back to throwing. I think you’d want to be extra careful. And even if you’re going down the street just to pick up lunch or something, seeing Chris sale on a bike, going to pick up lunch, I don’t know. It is weird. Everything is a little strange about it.

So, yeah, there’s a lot of questions. And I’m not necessarily saying anybody’s lying here, but it’s just it does feel like things are adding up in a weird way surrounding him. And I don’t know if the voodoo dolls are involved or not. But it’s there’s a lot of weird injuries and ailments that he’s dealt with. And in the spring, he kind of told us he had taken the team and told us he had taken a little time off for some personal matter. When we talked to him, he said that it was basically like a family health thing that he had to get screened and tested for. So there’s just a lot of things that are a little vague around the different injuries and ailments that he’s had. And it’s obviously frustrating for fans, I know. You know, it’s frustrating for him being the competitor that he is that he wants to be out there.

But it is, like you said, definitely just strange, just the circumstances around this one, particularly kind of picturing Chris Sale tumbling over, you know, bicycle bars going down a hill as Chaim Bloom explained it and breaking his wrist in the process. 

FRED: Yeah, you would think that you would. Is it just a fellow human being? Go like, sir, are you okay? Like, is there anything I can do for you? There would seem to have been a little bit of an uproar. Like if some kid came tearing down the street here in front of my house and fell, I would get out and go, like, Are you all right? And this and that. But I’m glad that you think I’m not crazy that you don’t think I’m crazy that there very well could be some shenanigans going on here. That’s good to know. Thank you. 

JEN MCCAFFREY: Yeah, it just there’s just a lot of injuries that we don’t necessarily have all the non baseball injuries, I guess that we don’t have the entire back story on. And I guess you could even go back to the 2018 World Series where they he was joking about having the belly button ring piercing and infection and all that. And there was a vagueness around that, too. So it is. Yeah, you know, it’s just all a little bit a little strange, I guess. 

RICH: Does this let Chaim Bloom off the hook? Now that Chris Sale is not coming back, and I know that there weren’t like a ton of hopes for this team to do anything. But does this injury kind of make Chaim Bloom able to now go ‘Well, I mean, there are a lot of things that went on this season. We had injuries, Chris Sale, our best pitcher, he was injured.’ Does this kind of take a little blame off the shoulders of high on Chaim Bloom for how this season will unfold? 

JEN MCCAFFREY: I don’t know. I don’t think so necessarily because they really haven’t been able to depend on him all year. They weren’t really going to be depending on him until the probably end of September. And they were even Cora was even saying yesterday pregame that before this accident happened on Saturday, apparently he was talking to the head trainer, Brad Pearson, that had been with Sale as he was throwing at Boston College and how Sale was throwing the ball really great. And, they were envisioning scenarios of maybe bringing him back quicker and putting him in the bullpen and having him contribute sooner.

So I don’t know that it necessarily takes Bloom off the hook because there’s just been so many other issues roster management-wise that have cropped up over the course of the season. That’s been evident. And obviously, pitching depth has been a big one there. And Bloom admitted that yesterday in kind of saying they thought they had enough, but they clearly didn’t and had to put a lot of these rookie starters into roles that and rely too heavily on these guys, probably too early in their careers. And they did okay a little bit for a while and obviously were exposed at other times. So I don’t know. I don’t think this Sale injury in particular takes Bloom off the hook. I think he definitely is feeling the heat, especially after the trade deadline. And in the confusion surrounding that, the moves and also lack thereof were made there. So yeah, I don’t think it necessarily takes him off the hook. 

Sale signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension with the Red Sox in March 2019, but Since 2020, Sale has made just 11 regular-season starts and three postseason starts for a total of 14 appearances over three years.