Baseball players usually are under a close microscope at the beginning of spring training.
Fans and media are keeping a keen eye out for players who show up for camp out of shape or looking leaner from the year before as an indication to what kind of a season they might have.
But Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was happy to see one player show up to Fort Myers, Fla., looking a little heavier than his playing weight last season — Chris Sale.
The lefty ace was on hand in Fort Myers on Monday to throw a bullpen session, and Cora was impressed with what he saw, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.
“Chris looks great. He has gained some weight,” Cora said. “And he’s been throwing with no setbacks.”
Sale weighed in at a listed 180 pounds last season, looking rather lean given his 6-foot-6 frame. After dealing with shoulder tendinitis and having his durability called into question in 2018, it appears the ace made a point out of adding some bulk in the offseason.
“He was very aggressive with his offseason workouts,” Cora said. “We’re very pleased with the way he went about it. All of them. It’s good to see him gaining weight and throwing the ball the way he’s been throwing the past few weeks. We’re very comfortable with him.”
If the Red Sox plan on putting together a serious defense of their 2018 World Series title, a healthy Sale will be one of the most important factors.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images