The Red Sox might have just been dealt their worst COVID-19 blow yet, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Boston ace Chris Sale tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday and will be scratched from his Sunday start vs. the Chicago White Sox, NESN’s Tom Caron has learned.
Sale has been nothing short of sensational since returning to the Red Sox rotation on Aug. 14 after missing a year-plus due to Tommy John surgery. He’s 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA, striking out 30 batters in 25 innings. Most importantly, the Red Sox are 4-1 in his five starts since his return.
The Red Sox are in Chicago this weekend to begin a massive six-game road trip that has them heading to Seattle after a three-game set in the Windy City. Both series, especially the Mariners set, have massive playoff implications for the Red Sox, who currently lead the American League wild-card race.
That’s in spite of the fact they’ve been dealing with a pretty sizable COVID outbreak over the last two weeks. Twelve players landed on the list with 10 confirmed positive results. Boston seemed to be turning the corner in that regard, even getting some of its players back off the COVID list, but Sale’s positive test seems is an indication they aren’t totally out of the woods. That the Sox are now losing their best starting pitcher only adds to that ongoing misery.
The club on Thursday reportedly added pitchers Connor Seabold and Kaleb Ort to the taxi squad. Seabold would seem like a potential option to take Sale’s spot in the rotation, but we’ll have to wait and see which direction manager Alex Cora heads in that regard.