Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale continues to check off boxes when it comes to his rehab from injury.
Sale completed another step in the rehab process Monday when he threw live batting practice at the Red Sox’s spring training facility in Fort Meyers, Fla., according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. For Sale, it was the first time he faced hitters since sustaining a stress facture in his rib in late February.
Sale’s live pitching session went “extremely well” a source told Speier, and Sale reportedly notched 96 miles per hour on the radar gun.
Speier also noted Sale will rejoin the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday when they begin a nine-game homestand and the left-handed pitcher will keep on rehabbing with the team — though not on the active roster.
There hasn’t been a date yet set for Sale’s return, as his rehab has come with a couple setbacks, including an undisclosed personal issue that sidelined him along with a stomach bug that pushed back a bullpen session.
Whenever Sale does return, it is not clear what his exact role will be. The idea that the Red Sox could use him out of the bullpen instead of in the starting rotation has been floated out there, and wasn’t disregarded by Boston’s pitching coach Dave Bush.
The Red Sox could use Sale’s arm at the moment with Boston placing two starting pitchers on the injured list while on its West Coast road trip, but the team certainly won’t push Sale to come back quicker than expected given his recent injury history.