Red Sox Player Profile: Chris Sale


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The Syndicate's Red Sox Writers and Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later Hosts will be profiling a different Sox player each day to get you ready for the 2020 season.  Today's featured player:

Chris Sale

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Sale Day?

The expectations are high for the man wearing the No. 41 jersey.  Chris Sale was not good last year, injuries plagued the lanky left hander.  Will he get back to vintage Sale?  If the Red Sox want to be competitive this year, they’ll need him to be. 


• Position: Starting Pitcher
• 2020 opening day age: 30 (31 on March 30)
• Bats / Throws: Left / Left
• Height / weight: 6'-6" / 180 pounds
• Nickname: The Condor
• How acquired: Trade w/Chicago White Sox on 12/06/2016
• Contract status: Signed thru 2024, 5 yrs/$145M (20-24) & 25 vesting option
• 2019 Stats: 6 – 11, 4.40 ERA, 147.1 IP, 218 Ks, 37 BBs, 1.086 WHIP,  WAR 2.3

2019 Season:  Sale had a miserable 2019 for the Red Sox last season.  He was 6-11, with a career high 4.40 ERA before he was shut down with an elbow injury that gave media and fans anxiety that Tommy John surgery could be on the horizon. 

MLB T-shirts at“As bad as I was last year I learned a lot. ... Last year was tough. I was out there throwing batting practice half the time,” Sale said. “You learn from that. It makes you better.”

Sale posted a heinous 6.30 ERA in his first six starts of the season, where he gave up seven home runs in 30 innings of work. Sale only gave up 11 home runs in 2018. 

It looked like he was about to turn the season around.  From May 3 - June 15, he made nine starts and had a 2.09 ERA.  Sale would be effective, but not Sale-like, for July and then he was roughed up by the Indians for five runs on August 13.  Sale was effectively shut down after that with an elbow problem. 

2019 Key Stat:  Sale was limited to 25 starts last season. While his ERA ballooned to 4.40, he did have 218 strikeouts in 2019.  He struck out ten or more batters 11 times in 2018.  He had a season high 17 strikeouts in seven innings of work against the Rockies.  The Red Sox would end up losing that game, but arguably that was his best start.  Sale had four starts where he struck out ten or more hitters. 

BSS Red Sox Podcast TBNL 2020 OUTLOOK

Sale was a perennial Cy Young candidate up until last season, where he had a miserable season winning only six games.  Sale will look to get back to vintage Chris Sale this season and help the team turn the page on a tough 2019 and horrendous offseason that saw Mookie Betts, David Price and Alex Cora all leave the organization. 

Boston will need a bounce back year from Sale if they have any hopes of being a playoff contender in 2020. 

Sale has said this spring that his elbow is fine and that he has thrown six or seven times prior to him being sick before reporting to Fort Myers. 

Sale has expressed hope that he will be available for Opening Day, but the Red Sox are not going to rush him back.  Based off last season and the state of the roster this season, it's not far-fetched that Sale will win 10 games.

Even if Sale is healthy, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Eduardo Rodriguez could be the Opening Day starter and not Sale. 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Player Profile: Chris Sale
Red Sox Player Profile: Chris Sale
Boston Sports Syndicate
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