Make no mistake, what Dombrowski’s Sox achieved this year was every bit as extraordinary as in 2018: for the first time in a long, long time – maybe ever? – the Red Sox played a season in which they were largely irrelevant.
Before you suggest it's “good news” that Chris Sale doesn't need surgery, let’s make this clear: Sale does not need surgery NOW, and the Red Sox have a depreciating asset despite limiting him over the last two years.
The Red Sox are now 9-11 behind Price this season and just 8-14 behind Chris Sale, a combined record of 17-25 that would translate into roughly 66-96 over a 162-game schedule. More importantly, the Sox are just 1-3 behind Price and Sale since beginning their 14-game gauntlet against New York and Tampa Bay – and 5-0 behind everybody else.
Sale has a maybe a dozen starts left to validate a baby-Sale plan that certainly seemed to have blown up in the Red Sox’ faces in the earliest stages of this season, when the Red Sox opened by going 6-13 and Sale went 1-7.
Don’t look now, Red Sox followers, but the news that David Price has landed on the injured list has left the Sox in a rather curious position. Forty percent of the team’s starting rotation is now on the IL, Price (elbow tendinitis) joining Nathan Eovaldi (elbow surgery) on the sideline. No one can possibly know how Sox pitchers will fare in the long run this season, but the idea was to bring them along slowly so that they would all be at maximum strength in September and October.