Chris Sale Has Tommy John Surgery

Chris Sale
FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox reacts during a team workout on February 20, 2020 at jetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Chris Sale: Successful Tommy John Surgery for the Southpaw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale officially underwent Tommy John surgery today. The news was first reported by Alex Spier of The Boston Globe on Twitter.

Earlier this month, the news originally broke. At the time, it wasn’t known exactly when the survey would be. In addition, there was some skepticism regarding the timeline, given the current shutdown from COVID-19. For many hospitals, more focus is being placed on addressing that, and rightfully so.

Original Setback for Sale

The original setback that caused the need for Tommy John happened during a live batting practice session at the start of the month. Sale completed the session but later started to feel fatigue in his throwing elbow. That created enough concern among the training staff to further investigate the problem.

Originally, Chris Sale was not destined to undergo Tommy John surgery. Rather, doctors suggested that the issue surrounded around only a flexor tendon strain. Rest was recommended at the time and a plan limiting the amount of work for Sale was put into place.

However, once the live batting practice session happened, that’s when the concern became real and the diagnosis ended up being what it was. For Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox, if there was going to be a good time to have Tommy John surgery, this was it.

Chris Sale in 2019

The 31-year old southpaw concluded last season with a 4.40 ERA (91 ERA-) over 147 and 1/3 innings. In that span, Sale recorded a 13.3 K/9 rate and had a 3.39 Fielding Independent Percentage (FIP).

It was a disappointing season nonetheless for the 2018 All-Star. During the 2018 regular season, Sale finished the year with a 2.11 ERA (47 ERA-) over 158 innings pitched. In addition, Sale wound up finishing fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting that season. Last season the seven-year All-Star streak for the southpaw came to an end.

Outlook

Initially, the 2020 regular season looked rather bleak for the Boston Red Sox. It was likely to be a season that resulted in a team that took a step back. However, that potentially hinges on if there even is a season given the current pandemic. Regardless, Sale has now completed the surgery and, if everything goes according to plan, will step back on a big league mound in 12-15 months.

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