BOSTON (CBS) — David Price will be back in the Boston rotation this weekend. Chris Sale’s return, however, still remains a mystery.
Price, sidelined since last Wednesday after getting hit on his pitching wrist by a line drive, will take the mound Friday night at Fenway Park when the Red Sox open a big three-game series against the Houston Astros. The lefty is coming off a strong month of August where he went 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA, with Boston winning all five of his starts. Price is 5-1 going back to the start of July, with Boston 9-1 in the games he’s started. He’s put together his best season in a Red Sox uniform so far, going 14-6 with a 3.60 ERA.
But there is still some concern with Sale, given the fact the team still doesn’t know when he’ll return from this latest bout with left shoulder inflammation. Sale threw a bullpen session ahead of Tuesday night’s win over the Atlanta Braves, and he’s expected to toss another sometimes this weekend at Fenway Park. He should return at some point during Boston’s nine-game homestand, with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets coming to town for three-game sets following the Astros, but the team isn’t ready to commit to a date.
When Sale does return to the rotation, he will likely make an abbreviated start, going for just a few innings as he builds up his arm strength again. This is his second trip to the DL with left shoulder inflammation since the All-Star break, and Sale has pitched just once since July 27. Boston has used a cautious approach with their ace in hopes of preserving him for the playoffs.
For the season, Sale is 12-4 with an AL-low 1.97 ERA.