Saturday may feel like a national holiday to some Red Sox fans when Chris Sale makes his return to the Boston rotation for the first time since August 2019.
Sale made five rehab starts in total, amassing a 1.35 ERA and compiling 35 strikeouts along the way. The southpaw has looked, at times, like vintage Sale before he underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020. His velocity and command were there, and the swings and misses were plenty.
It certainly will be a welcome addition to a Red Sox rotation that has struggled. A lot of will be riding on Sale’s shoulders, naturally, and MLB.com believes the hard-throwing lefty is the Red Sox who has “lots to prove” in the final two months of the season.
It’s been a long time coming, but Sale is making his way back to a Major League mound about a year and a half after he underwent Tommy John surgery. The left-hander will make his 2021 debut on Saturday against the Orioles, and the timing couldn’t be better. Boston’s starting pitching has fallen flat recently, and the club lost seven of eight between July 29 and Aug. 6 as a result. But Sale’s numbers in five rehab starts suggest he may be exactly what the Red Sox need to right the ship and reach October. Sale dazzled with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings across three Minor League levels. He allowed three earned runs on 17 hits and five walks while striking out 35 batters. Sale’s innings and pitch-count limit are still to be determined, but his presence on the mound should make an impact for the Sox moving forward.
It’s likely Sale will be watched closely in order to make sure he remains healthy and doesn’t need to be shut down for any amount of time once he returns. The Red Sox have fallen out of first place in the American League East, and have the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees right on their heels.
Getting Sale back will be crucial, especially with the postseason right around the corner. And if he can duplicate what he’s done during his rehab starts, then that only will spell bad news for batters.
The post Why MLB.com Named Chris Sale As Red Sox With ‘Lots To Prove’ For Rest Of Season appeared first on NESN.com.
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