Red Sox

Watch Chris Sale throw against hitters in a simulated game

Sale threw 15 pitches in Saturday's simulated game as he made the next step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

Chris Sale has been rehabbing at Fenway Park over the last few weeks. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Chris Sale made another big step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Saturday.

The Red Sox lefty threw a simulated game at Fenway Park prior to the start of Saturday’s game against the Yankees, marking the first time Sale’s faced hitters in nearly two years. The session wasn’t very long with Sale throwing only 15 pitches.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora was pleased with the latest development in Sale’s rehab.

“Good, good. 15 pitches. Fastball, changeup, slider,” Cora told reporters. “Everything went well, he felt good about it. His next one is next week. So, we’re excited. He looked really good, really good.”

After getting cleared to throw from the mound in May, Sale’s been pitching in bullpen sessions in recent weeks. Sale first threw a bullpen session at Fenway on June 8 and again on June 11, throwing 25 pitches in those sessions. Sale’s latest bullpen session came on Tuesday in Portland with the Sea Dogs, throwing 40 pitches in that session.

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Typically the next step for pitchers rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after throwing simulated games is to begin a rehab assignment with a minor league affiliate. However, the Red Sox haven’t set a timeframe for when Sale will make the next step in his return.

“Let’s wait how he reacts to this and then we’ll make a decision,” Cora said.

Earlier in June, Sale said he would be open to pitching out of the Red Sox bullpen to start if it meant a sooner return.

“The quicker that I can be back on this team, I would like that,” Sale said on June 8. “That [decision] is way above my pay grade and where I’m at right now. I’m focused on my next day and getting off the mound and then whatever the next step is, take that.”

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Sale hasn’t pitched in an MLB game since August 2019 and had Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

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