Matt Barnes, seemingly like everyone else in the Red Sox organization, has been impressed with Chris Sale as he continues to make strides in his rehab.
So much so that the All-Star closer doesn’t believe Sale will miss a beat upon his return to the big leagues.
“Sale’s working his ass off. He really is,” Barnes recently told reporters, per MassLive. “I have no doubt in my mind that when he comes back, he’s going to be Chris Sale. And any time you can get a guy like that on a team that’s making a push, it’s completely invaluable. It’s incredible.”
Barnes continued: “I don’t know when he’s going to come back. I think they’re saying sometime early August. But you’re talking about getting a guy who’s one of the best pitchers in baseball when he’s healthy and on the field. And we get him at a crucial point to make a push in maybe the last two months of the season. Right around the same time teams are typically trying to go out and make moves at the trade deadline. So we get Chris Sale back for nothing because we already have him. We have a very good team as is.”
Given the amount of time Sale has been inactive, expectations for the star southpaw probably should be tempered whenever he does rejoin the Red Sox. And fortunately for Boston, it’s in a position where it doesn’t need Sale to be a worldbeater.