Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher Chris Sale hasn't seen any MLB action ever since he underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020. Even though his eventual return seems like it's taking forever to arrive, Red Sox fans' patience is finally starting to pay off.
Sale's recovery has gone well enough that he'll be facing live hitters for the first time on Saturday. The seven-time MLB All-Star will throw an estimated 20 pitches in the outing, meaning he's getting that much closer to returning to the Red Sox's mound.
Chris Sale News
NBC Sports EDGE Baseball added that Sale will likely need another session against live hitters before beginning his rehab assignment. Assuming that goes well, the 32-year-old lefty looks to be on track to make his MLB return in August.
While they wouldn't want to rush his rehab, the Red Sox would appreciate getting Sale back in the lineup sooner than later. With a 45-31 record, Boston is half a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. Getting a healthy Sale back into the starting rotation could push the Red Sox over the top, however, it also depends on what the lefty looks like.
The last time Sale pitched was in the 2019 MLB season — arguably the worst campaign of his career. He finished the year with a 6-11 record and a career-high 4.40 ERA. It was also the first time that he wasn't named an all-star since 2011. Needless to say, the Red Sox would like it if Sale looked like his 2018 self whenever he returns. That season he went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 13.5 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched in 27 starts.
The Red Sox currently have the 10th best odds at +2000 to win the World Series, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Those odds put them behind the New York Yankees (+1300, 6th) and Rays (+1400, 7th) when it comes to AL East rivals.
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