Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow doesn’t believe Chris Sale’s past is indicative of his future.

It has been a battle for Sale to remain on the mound in recent seasons, with injuries piling up longer than a CVS receipt and an end to his health woes seemingly nowhere in sight. He made 20 starts last season but spent over two months on the injured list.

Still, that kind of availability was a big step up from what he gave the Red Sox before that. In the three seasons prior to last year, Sale made just 11 starts and threw a combined 48 1/3 innings.

Sale doesn’t have age on his side, either, as he gets set for his seventh season with the Red Sox. The left-hander turns 35 three days into the regular season.

Story continues below advertisement

It appears Sale has everything working against him to be the pitcher he used to resemble, someone could log over 30 starts — or close to it — and be a league-leader in innings pitched like he was during his first season with the Red Sox in 2017.

But Breslow isn’t losing hope that Sale can turn back the clock. When the newest Red Sox front office executive was questioned Monday at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings if Sale could make 25 starts in 2024, Breslow answered with unwavering confidence.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“I don’t know why we would say he shouldn’t, right?” Breslow told reporters, per MassLive’s Sean McAdam. “He’s as healthy as he’s been (in a while) at this point. I think he has the benefits of a normal ramp-up and a normal offseason. I think he’s probably understanding and we’re understanding how to help him recover and take care of himself.

“I don’t know why I wouldn’t sit here and say we expect a full healthy season.”

Story continues below advertisement

Sale showed flashes of being a top-end starting pitcher last season after a rocky beginning to his campaign. For a month starting in late April, he looked like an All-Star again, going 4-1 over five starts with a 2.23 ERA and a .172 batting average against to go along with 35 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

But good things never seem to last for Sale anymore. A shoulder injury kept him out of action from the beginning of June to mid-August. He returned to make nine starts to close out the season.

And throughout those appearances, especially when the calendar moved into late September, the Red Sox stressed that the results from Sale weren’t of most importance, but instead coming out of each start healthy, which he did.

He’s enjoyed a healthy offseason, which continues to fuel the belief in Breslow that the Red Sox could get a different Sale than the one they’ve had in the recent past.

Story continues below advertisement

“We feel really good about where he is right now,” Breslow said. “Speaking to the medical group, the performance group, this is the most optimistic they’ve been. And the value of a full, healthy, normal offseason is huge. He’s throwing off the mound. He feels good about his progress in the offseason. The reality is, when he’s on the mound, he’s a really good major league pitcher. We just have to get him on the mound every five days.”

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images