On Saturday, MLB rumors quickly took off that Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale might have suffered a bad injury ahead of Opening Day 2018. However, Chad Jennings of Boston Herald and Sale himself may have given the fans a bit of optimism about his availability. Here’s the latest on Chris Sale’s injury situation and the pitcher’s status heading into next week’s season-opening start.
The news of Chris Sale’s injury arrived on Twitter from USA Today‘s Jorge L. Ortiz earlier on Saturday afternoon. Ortiz tweeted that Houston Astros batter J.D. Davis hit a line drive which struck Sale in the left thigh. Ortiz added that Sale left the game after getting “drilled” by that hit, and that quickly led to concerned Boston fans. The injury occurred in just the first inning of the Red Sox vs. Astros game with Sale limping off and later being diagnosed with a hip contusion. It was noted that he’d have an X-ray to determine if it was serious.
A later report from ESPN about the situation gave direct comments from Chris Sale himself about the injury. The Red Sox pitcher said the injury “looked a lot worse” than it really was and added that he expects to start on Opening Day for the team.
— Boston.com Red Sox News (@BDCSox) March 24, 2018
Sale said the following of his first reaction after getting hit by the drive.
“[The line drive] kind of shocked me more than anything. That initial blow sent some shooting [down my leg]. Now everything has quieted down.”
That’s good news for the Red Sox and their fans as they have high hopes for this upcoming season. The team looks to be amongst contenders with the Yankees for the AL East title based on their bullpen strength, as well as the addition of free agent J.D. Martinez to the lineup.
The Red Sox also have David Price and Rick Porcello, amongst others in their pitching rotation. However, Sale is the key part of this Boston bullpen as he was second last season in American League Cy Young Award voting based on his league-leading 308 strikeouts, and sixth-best 2.90 ERA.
The Boston Red Sox are scheduled to face the Tampa Bay Rays on MLB’s Opening Day next Thursday, March 29th.