Chris Sale will be activated and start for the Red Sox this Saturday, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. This will mark the end of a long absence for Sale, who has been out of action for two whole years now.
In August of 2019, Sale began having elbow problems that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Although Tommy John surgery was not recommended at the time, it would be eventually, and Sale underwent the procedure in March of 2020.
If he can quickly return to his previous form, or anything close to it, it will be a huge upgrade for a Red Sox team that has recently slid in the standings, surrendering the top spot in the AL East to the Rays. The lefty has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past decade. Since his 2010 debut, he has thrown 1629 2/3 innings, with a 3.03 ERA and excellent strikeout and walk rates of 30.7% and 5.7%.
In other Red Sox news, Alex Verdugo has gone on the paternity list and will be away from the team for a few days, per Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. MassLive’s Chris Cotillo adds that Connor Wong has been optioned, while Jarren Duran and JD Martinez have been activated from the COVID-IL. Both Duran and Martinez went on the IL in recent days because they weren’t feeling well. COVID testing must have come back negative, because a positive test would have resulted in a 10-day quarantine. Wong was only just recalled to help cover for their absence but didn’t get into any game action.