NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the field with a dislocated pinky finger after getting hit by a line drive from Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chris Sale simply can’t catch a break. Unless it’s a bone. In a freak accident.
The Boston Red Sox announced a brand-new injury for Sale – yes, another whole-ass injury – on Tuesday, confirming that he underwent surgery to repair a broken wrist. He’s officially going to miss the rest of the 2022 season.
Sale’s year was already in jeopardy after he fractured his pinky finger, when a line drive hit him directly in the hand during a game at Yankee Stadium. But this latest thing seals the deal. The Red Sox said in their statement that Sale suffered the wrist fracture in a “bicycle accident” on Saturday.
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This all comes after Sale had to miss the entire 2020 season and most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s started just 11 games since 2019, and will be 34 years old when (if?) he returns to the mound in 2023.
The Red Sox did say Sale is expected to be ready for the start of 2023 spring training, so there’s that. But we’re now at the point of just waiting for the next injury. Sale always seemed like an injury threat at 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds, but had a remarkable run of durability from 2012-17, when he averaged 30 starts and 205 innings per season.
It feels like we’re witnessing the total breakdown. At the same time, the last two injuries have been of the “freak” variety. So perhaps there is a small circle of Red Sox fans out there who are holding onto a smidgen of hope that the team can finally have Sale back in the rotation and taking the mound every fifth day.
But after this latest insanity, we’d be happy with five starts all season.
Oct 20, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) takes starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) out of the game during the sixth inning of game five of the 2021 ALCS against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Oh, and not to mention, Sale remains under contract for the next three seasons, at an average annual value of $25 million. It’s fair to wonder if the Red Sox are ever going to get any value out of the deal. Sale is going to be in his mid-30s with a CVS receipt of injuries.
Forget being healthy. Will Sale even be the same pitcher again? There’s little hope for that to pan out, at the moment.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.