Chris Sale took another positive step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery Friday.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher threw a 40-pitch bullpen in Worcester while batters stood at the plate. It was something Sale was pleased with afterward.
“That felt good,” Sale told reporters, per the Telegram & Gazette’s Ashley Green. “Being able to throw all my pitches aggressively helps a lot.”
Sale noted they tried to simulate a “pregame bullpen.”
“It’s all part of getting back to normal. Even facing hitters,” Sale said. “There’s a difference between throwing off the mound to a hitter and having someone in there. Obviously being able to bounce ideas off of those guys. ‘How’d it look? Did you see anything? Tipping pitches?’ Hitters can see just as much as anybody. Where I was a few months ago, this means the world to me. I’m more appreciative than ever about what I do and how I do it. Being able to just throw off a mound, for one, is fantastic for me. … My first (bullpen), I threw seven off the mound, now I’m at 40.”
Sale’s progress, understandably, has been slow and steady. There is no timetable for when the southpaw will return to Boston — thought it will be this summer — but manager Alex Cora revealed his Wednesday bullpen could be compared to one he’d throw in February during a normal spring training.
Even though we don’t yet have a date for when he will be back in game action, each day is one day closer, and it certainly appears he’s trending in the right direction.