Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Chris Sale has suffered an injury. June 1st, Sale left the game early with discomfort in his throwing shoulder. A few days later the team would hold a press conference to announce that Sale had a stress reaction to his left shoulder blade. He is expected to be back this season, but it will be about a month before he is reevaluated. At this point it’s hard not to be concerned about the longevity of Chris Sale and his arm. From freak rib injuries, to broken fingers from comebackers, to falling off Peloton bikes, Sale’s body has just not been able to hold up as the left hander has aged.
Of course, it’s sad to see a player that has had health issues succumb to another injury. However, with the absence of Sale, this now puts a huge strain on the rest of the pitching staff. After a rough first few starts, Sale has settled back in and had even shown flashes of his vintage self. With a record of 5-2 and collecting 71 strikeouts in 59 innings; that is classic Chris Sale. But his 4.58 ERA, though not great, could be considered misleading. Sale got blown up in his first few starts this season and that ballooned his stats to this point. Getting better with each start Sale managed to have an ERA of 2.42 in the month of May.
Sale was settling back into his role as the number one starter and now without him the starting rotation is up in the air. Pivetta and Kluber have both been bad and moved to the bullpen. Garrett Whitlock has been dealing with injury problems of his own and really hasn’t worked out as a starter to this point. Bryan Bello is looking better but is still only 24 and has a lot to learn and needs to grow. James Paxton has looked decent in his first few starts but can he be trusted to stay healthy? And Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford haven’t made the leap to big league starters but have been decent out of the pen. The Red Sox pitching staff currently ranks 22nd in the league in team ERA and have given up the 10th most homeruns in baseball. Not good when you’re in the best division in baseball with teams that rank 2nd, 7th, 11th, and 14th in total runs scored this season. Without Chris Sale this already struggling pitching staff could be a disaster if Boston wants to stay afloat in the playoff race.