Despite Brayan Bello’s breakout and James Paxton’s resurgence this season, the Boston Red Sox needed a starter or two before the deadline if they were serious about competing.
Perhaps they weren’t as aggressive as they probably should have been because the medical staff felt that Chris Sale would be back soon.
Indeed, the dominant left-hander is returning from the 60-day injured list on Friday to start against the Detroit Tigers.
It’s actually a nice opponent to ease him into action: the Tigers are among the worst offensive teams in the league.
Sale had to miss the last 10 weeks with left shoulder inflammation.
Chris Sale is back on the bump for the first time since June. pic.twitter.com/O4sdjgbkJa
— MLB (@MLB) August 11, 2023
One of the best starters of the 2010s, the 2020s have been rough for Sale on the injury front.
Still, he has managed an acceptable 4.58 ERA , a 1.19 WHIP and a 71/15 K/BB ratio across 59 innings (11 starts).
That’s mostly a product of a slow start: he had actually been turning things around before he got injured.
He is not expected to be ready for something close to a 100-pitch workload, as he threw just 53 pitches last weekend in his final minor league rehab start for Triple-A Worcester.
Still, having him back in the rotation is excellent news for the Sox; and he could be ready for a full workload in a little under two weeks.
In the meantime, he will try to give Boston quality innings as they compete for a spot in the postseason.
As of Friday afternoon, they are 60-55, fourth in the American League and four games back in the fight for the last Wild Card spot.NEXT: Red Sox Continue Their Magic In City Connect Uniforms