Red Sox’s Chris Sale’s Return Could Be (Slightly) Delayed After Last Start

Sale will need some bullpens to get back on track

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Starting pitcher Chris Sale might need a little more time than anticipated before making his season debut with the Boston Red Sox.

There were many reports that Sale’s rehab start on Wednesday with Triple-A Worcester would be his last. However, the left-hander did not perform as expected, and might need more work to find his command.

The plan was for Sale to go five innings while throwing somewhere in the 65-70 pitch range. Unfortunately, the 33-year-old southpaw was only able to go 3 2/3 innings, in which he yielded an earned run and three hits while recording five strikeouts and five walks.

He did reach 72 pitches, but ended his extremely inconsistent night with a bases-loaded walk and was far from his typical self.

After the game, Sale gave some contradicting feedback.

“I’m very ready (to pitch for the Red Sox),” Sale told reporters, as transcribed by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “Today was a hiccup. It’s nothing that can’t be ironed out.”

While Sale clearly is itching to return to Major League Baseball, he also said he might need some extra work, which would delay his timetable.

“Sale said he might want to get multiple bullpen sessions in the next week,” Speier tweeted Wednesday.

Starting pitchers typically only have time to throw one bullpen session between starts. For Sale to throw multiple times, he would not be on track to make his season debut against the Tampa Bay Rays in the four-game series that runs from July 11-14, which was when he was expected to return to the big-league roster.

Should the Red Sox disregard Sale’s comments and assume his latest rehab outing for the WooSox was an outlier, he could make two starts before the All-Star break coming against the Rays and New York Yankees.

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