Chris Sale ‘In Great Place’ After Throwing Bullpen At Fenway Park

'If it were up to me I'd be starting tomorrow'


Jun 8, 2021

Chris Sale, understandably, is antsy to return. and he took another step toward that Tuesday afternoon.

The Red Sox pitcher threw a 25-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park ahead of Boston’s series opener against the Houston Astros. Sale underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020 and is expected to return this summer despite suffering a few setbacks along the way.

Not only did manager Alex Cora feel good about the bullpen, he liked what Sale was saying afterward. And even though this is an exciting time in the southpaw’s recovery, Cora stressed the importance of everyone staying patient.

“The fact he was only talking about mechanics is refreshing,” Cora said over Zoom. “He’s in a great place mentally, he looks a lot stronger than two years ago. He’s just excited that he’s a baseball player again. Now he’s gotta be patient. I asked (athletic trainer) Brad (Pearson) and (Dave Bush), I’m not a pitching expert or medical expert, what this means in the offseason — this bullpen — what the timetable is. They kind of said it’s a bullpen in January, so they basically said don’t get too excited. But it felt good to see him, it feels good to have him around. And now we get excited, but at the same time we still have to be disciplined. We have to be patient. Whenever he’s ready, we know he’s going to contribute.”

As for Sale, he’s confident he will return this year.

“One-hundred percent,” he said as he knocked on wood. “Unless something crazy happens.”

The hard-throwing lefty noted he no longer feels like someone who is rehabbing an injury, but rather a pitcher who is building up to prepare for the season.

Sale added he like being around his teammates because it is just a different type of energy.

“… Being here,” the energy is definitely higher,” he said. “I feel more of a sense of urgency. … When I throw I feel normal. I feel like a kid again.”

Sale joked that he told Cora he’d be ready to go when the Red Sox take on the Braves in Atlanta next week because he wants to hit. All jokes aside, though, Sale sounds like someone who’s ready to help his team.

“If it were up to me I’d be starting tomorrow,” he said.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale
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