Chris Sale Placed on Injured List

CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 13: Starting pitcher Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 13, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

In what has already been a tumultuous season for the Boston Red Sox, Sox fans will have another tough pill to swallow. Seven-time all-star Chris Sale has been put on the injured list.

The official word came down Saturday that Sale has landed on the ten-day injured list, retroactively set for August 14. The team did not dive into the severity of the injury nor the timetable for Sale’s return. Noted by Ian Browne of MLB.com, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that the MRI showed inflammation in Sale’s elbow from his most recent start.

Chris Sale Placed on Injured List

Potential Aftermath

While Sale hasn’t had an extensive and worrisome injury history, there’s no doubt that there’s one building up. This is the second significant injury stint for Sale following last year where he missed most of the second half.

Again, it may be a small sample size for Sale, but the effects may be mounting for the 30-year-old. Despite leading the major league ranks with a 13.32 K/9 rate, his fastball velocity has declined recently from an average of 95 mph to 93.2 mph. Normally Sale has done a good job of fighting off the home run ball. However, recently it’s been a different story as he now sits three shy of his career-high 27 home runs allowed.

A potential reason for the slight decline could very well come from the arsenal used by Sale himself. He has dipped into his slider a lot more this season to the tune of 38 percent of the time despite that pitch being one of the most hit. All the while, Sale has gotten away from his signature fastball — throwing it a career-low 46 percent of the time.

The Current Predicament

Ultimately the injury comes amid a not so hot season for Sale. The southpaw is currently enduring his worst season since 2012 with a 4.40 ERA.

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