BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox fans will have to wait a few extra days for the return of their ace.
Boston was hoping that Chris Sale would only miss one start when they placed him on the DL with shoulder inflammation last week, but he will sit out the team’s upcoming three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Red Sox announced Sunday night. He was eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, but now Sale will likely return to the rotation this weekend when the Sox play the Orioles four times in three days down in Baltimore.
Boston manager Alex Cora said his ace is fine, but the team is taking a cautious approach to his return. Keeping him out until the Baltimore series will allow him to miss out on a two-game set against the Phillies in Philadelphia next week, meaning he won’t have to hit for himself in a National League park.
“He’s OK, but he hasn’t thrown a bullpen yet,” Cora said Sunday. “At the same time, you start looking at the schedule, and I don’t want him pitching in Philly; I don’t want him to hit. So we kind of maneuver the schedule and see Baltimore, most likely. That’s what it’s going to be.”
Sale played some catch prior to Boston’s thrilling 5-4 comeback win over the Yankees on Sunday and will likely throw again on Monday. The lefty is 11-4 with an AL-leading 2.04 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 22 starts this season.
With a 9.5 game cushion over the Yankees in the AL East, Boston’s focus should be getting Sale to 100 percent for October.