Looking for some clarity about Chris Sale’s shoulder? Don’t hold your breath.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski offered very little Monday when asked about Sale’s status this offseason, even suggesting the organization will remain tight-lipped when it comes to discussing the shoulder injury that plagued Boston’s ace left-hander in 2018.
Why? Well, that’s how Sale would like to proceed, says Dombrowski, and the Red Sox are more than OK with taking that approach.
“Chris is an individual who is great, and we feel comfortable with him and all that, but he’s not one that likes to share a bunch of information,” Dombrowski told reporters at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Las Vegas, per WEEI.com. “That’s just the way it is, but we feel very comfortable where he is and he just wants to keep it between us.”
Sale spent two stints on the disabled list this past season due to a left shoulder issue. He then was limited to three starts in the playoffs — one in the World Series — which created additional uncertainty as to what exactly ailed the 29-year-old and whether it would impact him moving forward.
Fortunately, it sounds like Sale will be just fine. He’s throwing, according to Dombrowski, and doesn’t need anything else from a medical standpoint. The seven-time All-Star is expected to be 100 percent when the Red Sox report to spring training in February.
Just don’t expect many more updates between now and then.
“We have a pulse of it, but we’re really not going to discuss it,” Dombrowski told reporters of Sale’s shoulder. “We have a real pulse of what took place.”
Sale, who finished fourth in American League Cy Young voting, is entering the final year of his contract. He went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA in 27 regular-season starts in 2018 — his second campaign with Boston — before posting a 4.11 ERA over 15 1/3 innings in the postseason. It’ll be interesting to see whether Sale and the Red Sox seriously discuss a contract extension before the southpaw hits the open market.
“We think he’s fine,” Dombrowski told reporters, per MassLive.com. “I will tell you that I would not lie to you, so that’s another part of it. We feel very comfortable in that regard. That’s his desires, that’s just the way it is.
“I realize he’s high-profile and there’s all the interest in the world in it. But that’s just the way he is and I respect it. Other guys don’t feel quite the same way, but that’s how he is. If I didn’t feel comfortable with it, I would say I don’t feel very comfortable where he is.”
Basically, there’s nothing to see here — for the moment. Things could change throughout the offseason, but Sale and the Red Sox appear to be in a good place about a month and a half removed from their World Series triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The continued lack of information about Sale’s shoulder evidently is by design and not necessarily a cause for concern.