Chris Sale’s rehab starts all have been strong and shown flashes of his vintage form, but he’s still a few weeks away from returning to the Boston Red Sox.
Sale threw 3 2/3 innings for the Portland Sea Dogs on Sunday afternoon. He struck out nine and allowed six hits and gave up a home run. The plan all along has been for the southpaw to throw five innings, which he could reach this Saturday when he makes the start for the Worcester Red Sox.
By now we know how important the day after a rehab start is, and manager Alex Cora provided a positive update prior to the Red Sox’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
“He feels great. He’s here with us. … We had a conversation and he was telling me about the fans and how he felt,” Cora told reporters over Zoom. “He felt more nervous in (Florida) with 30 people there than actually in Portland with a packed house. He has been able to repeat his delivery. He loves the fact his fastball command is there and the velocity is there. Everything is trending the right way.”
We still don’t know exactly when Sale will be in the Red Sox rotation, but we do know his July 31 start will not be he final rehab outing.
“He’ll pitch Saturday and we’ll go from there,” Cora said. “Everything today went well, so thats good news.
“It’s not gonna be his last start on Saturday, it’s not gonna be his last one. He wont be with us after that.”
So, maybe Aug. 10 against the Tampa Bay Rays? Who knows, but it’s clear Sale is that much closer to joining the Red Sox.