The Boston Red Sox will be without their ace for a while.
Left-handed starter Chris Sale was diagnosed this week with a stress fracture on the right side of his rib cage.
He will open the season on the injured list.
According to Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox’s chief baseball officer, the southpaw may have suffered the injury during a workout last month at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Bloom confirmed that that Sale is not throwing, and it may be weeks before he throws again.
The ever-competitive Sale was honest when asked about how he feels about his injury.
“Got more teammates picking up my slack, (and I’m) doing my job getting paid to do nothing. I’m not afraid to say it, that’s who I am,” he said to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Chris Sale bluntly speaking with frustration about how he feels about his rib injury: "Got more teammates picking up my slack, (and I'm) doing my job getting paid to do nothing. I'm not afraid to say it, that's who I am."
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 16, 2022
The last few seasons haven’t been kind to Sale when it comes to injuries.
Sale Has Been Hit Hard By Injuries Recently
He hasn’t pitched anything remotely close to 200 innings since 2017.
In 2018, he had 158 frames, and they were 147.1 in 2019.
He missed the entire 2020 campaign while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, performed in March of that year.
The long road back let him make just nine starts last year, in which he threw 42.2 frames and had a 3.16 ERA.
He is now about to turn 33, so his best years are probably behind him.
That doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to a major league team anymore: to the contrary, he is still top-of-the-rotation material.
But he needs to be fully healthy to take the mound, and that’s why he is so frustrated at himself.
The Red Sox aren’t the same team without him, and will likely be hurt by his absence.
Everybody is hoping it isn’t too long.