Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora previously admitted how players can’t wait to get starting pitcher Chris Sale back with the team.
It’s probably obvious, of course, as the Boston front office, personnel and Red Sox fans all are getting eager to see the left-hander back on the hill, as well. Sale, who threw a rehab start in Double-A Portland on Tuesday as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, seemed to appreciate the notion.
And he feels the same way.
“Yeah, just being excited about it. That’s another thing that’s helped me out in this process,” Sale said after his no-hit outing with the Sea Dogs in which Portland won its 14th straight game. “I didn’t exactly have rainbows and butterflies at the front end of this this rehab process and having my teammates either text me or call me once they got to spring training, even (Alex Cora).
“Going up to Boston for that month of April wasn’t a necessity, but he knew I needed it. He knew I needed to be around the guys, I needed to be in that baseball atmosphere and that did wonders for me,” Sale continued. “So as excited as they are for be to be there, I’m probably more excited to be around them. They’ve helped me more than they know, that’s for sure.”
Sale threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out six. He hit as high as 98 mph on the radar gun in the first inning and threw 34 of his 49 pitches for strikes.
“Today was a good day. Definitely a step in the right direction,” Sale said, as transcribed by the Boston Herald. “Felt good throughout the entire game, even in the third or fourth inning running back out there, it felt like I was able to create some arm speed and make pitches when I need to, which at this stage of the game is key. But I have a hard time buying into all that. I’m still competing, I still want to win. I want to succeed. I want to help my team, whichever team that is. All of that stuff is good at the end of it, but while I’m out there, my motor’s going.”
Sale said he is likely to remain in Portland on Wednesday, but wasn’t sure what the future would bring thereafter.