BOSTON (CBS) — Chris Sale’s next stop on his path back to the big leagues will be in Portland.
The left-hander will head up to Maine next week to pitch for the Double-A Sea Dogs, when they host the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field.READ MORE: "Time for the village to step up": Volunteers help ease nationwide baby formula shortage
Red Sox manager Alex Cora shared that news when speaking to the media on Friday, ahead of Boston’s series opener vs. the Yankees in New York.
In terms of a return to the majors, Cora said the team plans on waiting until Sale can pitch five innings in a rehab start before making his first MLB start since 2019.READ MORE: Video: Likely tornado spotted in Charlestown, New Hampshire
Sale, 32, underwent Tommy John surgery last spring, missing the entirety of the 2020 season and the first half of 2021. He threw three innings in a rehab outing in the FCL (formerly the Gulf Coast League) on Thursday, as he slowly but steadily makes progress toward his return.
“Really good. I texted with him this morning. He felt really good physically, he played toss today, so everything went well,” Cora said. “He’s really excited, like I said yesterday. The way he’s been able to bounce back on a daily basis is something that — it’s not that he’s surprised, but he’s made some adjustments as far as his nutrition and his workouts and all of that. Actually, he’s a lot stronger now than what he was a few years ago, and it’s paying off. And he’s very excited with that.”MORE NEWS: Bail hearing postponed for Nathan Carman, charged in mom's death at sea
The Red Sox’ start to the unofficial second half of the season was delayed, after the Yankees had multiple players test positive for COVID-19 ahead of Thursday’s scheduled series opener, leading to a postponement. The Red Sox entered Friday with a 1.5-game lead over the Rays for first place in the division.