Chris Sale took another positive step in his progress from Tommy John surgery Wednesday afternoon.
The Red Sox pitcher threw a 15-pitch simulated inning at Fenway Park prior to Boston’s game against the Kansas City Royals.
If you ask Christian Arroyo, one of the batters who faced the southpaw, said he looked like “classic Chris Sale.”
“It was great to see one of the best, if not the best, lefthanders in the game,” Arroyo told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “He looked good. Stuff looks good. Changeup is biting as usual. He’s still got that dirty slider that he’s always thrown. It’s coming in zippy. He looks really good. I know we’re excited to have him back soon.”
It’s still unclear just when Sale will return to the Red Sox rotation, but Arroyo knows he will make a difference when that day comes.
“We’re just waiting to have him back,” Arroyo said. “He’s a difference-maker. He has been since he stepped foot on a major league field. His stuff looked good. Not good, his stuff looked great, with command. Typical Chris Sale. What more can you ask for?”
Manager Alex Cora liked what he saw from his pitcher, telling reporters it was “eye-opening” because of how strong his command was.
“For him to be dotting pitches already is a great sign,” Cora told reporters over Zoom.
Sale now will be evaluated Thursday and if that all goes well, will throw his final live BP in Fort Myers. If all goes well, he then could go on an extended rehab assignment.
“It’s not guaranteed, but it’s trending that way,” Cora said.
Sale always has been on track to return this summer, and now it feels like that day getting closer.