Chris Sale to Start the Season on IL
Boston Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke announced on Thursday that the team’s ace, Chris Sale, will not be ready to go on opening day. Sale will open the season on the injured list due to the flu and pneumonia which he has been dealing with this spring. This will reportedly set the lefty back for about two weeks.
The good news is that this doesn’t seem to be an issue with Sale’s elbow, which has bothered him immensely in the past. He has been throwing bullpen sessions down in Fort Myers at Fenway South.
The bad news to Sale being sidelined is that this makes an already weak starting rotation even weaker. Boston only had four solidified starting pitchers before the news broke. Taking Sale out of the equation now leaves them with Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Martin Perez. The final two spots will likely be filled by Hector Velazquez and Ryan Weber in an “opener” role.
Struggles in 2019
Chris Sale missed the final six weeks of the 2019 season with yet another elbow problem. He has a track record of falling off the map in the back half of the regular season. Issues from the end of 2018 even carried over into the start of last year. Sale’s velocity was down from his usual high-90s to about 92-94. Not to mention the command struggles he faced all year long.
Opening Day on the Horizon
Boston will open its season on March 26th north of the border against the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s likely that Rodriguez will take the mound that afternoon as the team opening day starter.
The team won’t be back in Boston until April 2nd after a seven-game road trip to start the year. The Chicago White Sox will come into town when the Fenway crowd will get their first glance at the new-look 2020 Boston Red Sox.