Chris Sale is 0-2 on the season, and despite a bounce-back start against the Oakland A’s in Tuesday night’s 1-0 loss, concern around the lefty’s velocity still clouds the air..
After an abysmal outing on Opening Day against the Seattle Mariners, the Boston Red Sox left-hander was much more effective in Oakland, stymieing the Athletics’ offense over six innings and allowing just a solo home run to Matt Chapman. But Sale finished with just one strikeout, the fewest he’s ever totaled in a start of at least six innings.
Through two starts, he has thrown 49 fastballs without a single swing and miss, topping out in the low-90s and mostly hovering in the upper-80s.
Red Sox coaches have said there is “zero concern” surrounding their ace, while Sale himself said he is trying to work out the kinks on a few things as the season gets going.
But former MLB closer Brad Lidge voiced concerned over Sale’s velocity on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday, via the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
Lidge spent 11 seasons in the majors coming out of the bullpen, and never logged the kind of innings starters on contending teams are expected to log from March to October, but he raises a fair point. We all know the velocity Sale is capable of. But for now, it’s a waiting game to see if and when he unleashes it.
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