Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 1: Chris Sale #41 (C) of the Boston Red Sox and teammate Rafael Devers #11 (R) look on as a trainer comes to the mound to talk with Sale during the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park on June 1, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

For a few weeks there, it looked like Chris Sale was back in his prime. After missing the majority of three full seasons due to a run of injuries, Sale was dominating like he had when the Red Sox first acquired him in 2017.

Dating back to late April, Sale put together five quality starts. He went 4-0 in those games, posting a 2.23 ERA with opponents hitting .172 against him. Over 32.1 innings, he struck out 35 hitters while walking just four. Now, that run from Sale is potentially in jeopardy.

  • Thursday night at Fenway Park, Sale was on track to tack on a sixth quality start in a row. Through 3.2 innings against the Cincinnati Reds, Sale had allowed five hits but just one earned run, while striking out six hitters.

    Unfortunately, that’s as much as Sale was able to offer on the night. 57 pitches into his outing, Sale was checked on by manager Alex Cora as well as the team’s training staff. After two more pitches, with noticeably decreased velocity, the team pulled Sale from the game.

    Sale, 34, had been dealing with an illness during the team’s recent West Coast road trip, but this appears to be unrelated. Shortly after the lefty was pulled from the game, multiple reporters passed along he was removed due to ‘left shoulder soreness.’

  • This is the latest in what has been a run of injury issues for Sale. They began when he was shut down late in the 2019 season due to elbow soreness. Prior to the 2020 season he underwent Tommy John surgery, which not only cost him that year but parts of the 2021 season due to setbacks in recovery as well as illness.

    Last season, Sale’s injuries really started to pile up. He missed the first three and a half months of the season after breaking a rib during a private workout session leading up to spring training. In his second start of the season in mid-July, he had a line drive hit off his pitching hand. While recovering from that,  Sale was involved in a bicycle accident, breaking his wrist and ending his season.

    If Sale does have to miss time, the Red Sox have options when it comes to filling his spot in the starting rotation. Nick Pivetta and Corey Kluber, who have been pitching out of the bullpen in recent weeks, began the season in the rotation.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 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 [email protected].

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