Red Sox

Chris Sale might begin minor league rehab assignment this week

Sale hasn't pitched in a game since August 2019.

Chris Sale could be returning to the mound soon. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

The Red Sox were blown out at home Saturday by the Phillies, but there was still some good news for them at day’s end.

Chris Sale might begin his minor league rehab assignment next week after throwing two innings of live batting practice in Fort Meyers, Florida on Saturday, manager Alex Cora told reporters.

“Everything good. He was good,” Cora said. “Results apart, (trainer Brad Pearson) told me he struck out a lot of people down there. But as far as the stuff, it was really good. Tomorrow is the big day, right? He did what he did today, and let’s see how he shows up tomorrow. Hopefully everything is fine and then we can map it out.”

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The Red Sox haven’t shared when or where Sale will exactly begin his minor league rehab assignment if he feels good Sunday. If they want him to pitch at one of their minor league teams’ home sites, either Single-A Salem or Triple-A Worcester would be the likely places Sale would begin his minor league rehab assignment. Both teams start a several-game homestand on Tuesday while Double-A Portland hits the road for six games beginning that same day.

No matter where Sale starts, Cora does have a plan for how long Sale will pitch in his first appearance.

“It’s not the big leagues, but it’s still a real game,” Cora said. “He’s going to be anxious. He’s going to be excited. The whole day is going to be different. It’s his first outing since Cleveland a few years ago in 2019. So, probably two innings, and then from there, we’ll see where it takes us.”

As Cora mentioned, Sale’s last professional outing came nearly two years ago in a start against the Indians on Aug. 13, 2019. Sale was placed on the injured list shortly after that start due to left elbow inflammation and didn’t return for the rest of that season.

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After Sale was told he didn’t need Tommy John surgery in 2019, Sale ended up undergoing the surgery in March 2020 following throwing sessions at spring training. Sale began throwing bullpen sessions, simulated games, and live batting practice in June.

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