Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale will start the season on the injured list, manager Ron Roenicke announced on Thursday.
Roenicke says Sale will be on injured list to start season. Says he’s about 2 weeks behind.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 27, 2020
Even though he’s going on the injured list, Sale isn’t injured. He reported to camp with pneumonia and will go on the 15-day injured list. Sale will remain in Fort Myers for extended spring training when the team leaves camp. Roenicke said that this has nothing to do with Sale’s elbow.
“With the sickness, it cost him two weeks’ time, and that two weeks is what we’d like to give him to make sure that he’s right,” Roenicke said. “He’s worked hard on getting his arm right, and we didn’t think four starts in spring training was fair to him. Nothing at all with the arm. He’s doing really good with that. We’re really happy with that. This is strictly for missing two weeks and only being able to get four starts in spring training.”
Sale signed a five-year, $150 million contract extension last March, then went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA. This is the third time that Sale has gone on the injured list in his three years with the Red Sox.
He is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Saturday, if he stays on schedule he could make four spring starts. The earliest that Sale will be eligible to be activated is April 7.
Sale still wants to start the first day that he’s eligible.
“I mean, [my target date] was March 26,” Sale said. “Especially given what happened last year and going through this offseason, that was my goal. I wanted to be there. I’ve let other people do my job and pick up my slack for long enough.”
With Sale being out the Red Sox Opening Day starter will most likely be Eduardo Rodriguez. If Sale had been able to start on Opening Day it would have been his third straight Opening Day start with the Red Sox. The Red Sox now need to fill two spots in the rotation with Sale out and David Price being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.