Chris Sale ‘trending’ as Tommy John’s rehab heats up

June 15, 2019; Baltimore, Maryland, United States; Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale (41) throws a first inning pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park in Camden Yards.

A year after fielding one of the worst pitching rosters in franchise history, the Red Sox have reached a milestone in 2021. They have allowed 4.10 points per game so far this season, the fourth best of the American League. Now there’s a chance this group could get a major boost at some point later this season.

Speaking to the media ahead of Monday’s game against the Miami Marlins, the Red Sox manager Alex cora the launcher told reporters Chris Sale joined the team in Boston for their eight-game homestand. Sale was in Fort Myers, in rehab after Tommy John surgery he had in March 2020.

“The trend is on the rise,” Cora said of Sale, who was spotted throwing in the outfield at Fenway before the game. Sale has thrown a mound for the first time since the operation last month. So far, he has mainly organized bullpen sessions, but “could soon face hitters” according to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic.

Sale’s debut in 2021 isn’t exactly imminent, with the most optimistic projections placing his return around the July 30 trade deadline. Still, picking up Sale for any length of time would be a major development for a team that seems to have proven themselves to be a factor in the home stretch.

The Red Sox could put Sale back into the starting rotation or use him out of the bullpen to reduce the strain on his elbow. The 32-year-old spent the first two seasons of his career as a reliever for the Chicago White Sox.

The last time Sale pitched in the majors was in 2019, when he recorded a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts. He has apparently suffered an injury for most of this season. In 2018, he was a finalist for Cy Young, with a 12-4 record and his career best 2.11 ERA.

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