BOSTON (CBS) — Any time a pitcher goes to see Dr. James Andrews, that player’s team and fan base holds its collective breath, fearing the worst.
The Red Sox and their fans, though, can breathe easy. Chris Sale’s visit to Dr. Andrews on Monday has found only inflammation in his left elbow. Tommy John surgery is not needed, but the treatment will shut him down for the rest of the season.
“Dr. Andrews confirmed that Sale has inflammation in his left elbow and treated it with a platelet-rich plasma injection,” Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said. “Dr. Andrews also recommended a period of shutdown from throwing. Sale will be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. Andrews.”
Sale, 30, has struggled all season long. He’s posted a 6-11 record and a 4.40 ERA, far off from the 2.89 career ERA that he carried into the year. Through it all, Sale maintained a league-best strikeout rate, but inconsistency was the name of his 2019 season. The Red Sox are just 10-15 in games started by Sale.
He was placed on the injured list over the weekend after feeling soreness in his elbow. The Red Sox didn’t appear to have too many answers on the how and when of the injury, but after Monday, they at least know that Tommy John is not in the near future for Sale.
Sale signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension with the Red Sox prior to this season.