Chris Sale Injured His Pinky Finger, Had to Leave Ground
Chris Sale, the Red Sox’s starting pitcher, left today’s game after just two outs because a comebacker from Aaron Hicks looked to damage his hand. Although the full nature of the injury will not be known until tests are performed, Sale left the field without hesitation after suffering what appeared to be damage to his hand, as shown on television. Here’s a video from Starting 9 that you can see on Twitter.
The fact that this was only Sale’s second start of the year added insult to injury for the Red Sox. A stress fracture in his rib cage forced him to miss the beginning of the season. After months of recovery and game preparation, he was hit on his pitching hand and sustained yet another injury. In 2020, the lefty underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2020 season as well as the first half of 2021. Combined, he has thrown fewer than 50 innings since the end of the 2019 season.
The setback comes at a bad time for the Red Sox, who have had problems with their rotation as of late. Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, Connor Seabold, and Josh Winckowski have all been placed on the IL in recent weeks, while Nathan Eovaldi has just returned from being out for more than a month. The team will have a couple days to straighten things out before the All-Star break begins the day after tomorrow. However, if Sale is unable to pitch, the rotation will be reduced to Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, and Kutter Crawford.
The Red Sox have 17 games scheduled in a row after the break, so they will undoubtedly need reinforcements. According to Boston Globe reporter Pete Abraham, despite their progress, Hill and Wacha still will not be ready to go once the break is over. Since returning from his own IL stay, the team has moved Garrett Whitlock to the bullpen from where he has made nine starts this season. While he would need to recover from his time away from the rotation, the team might give him another shot. Brayan Bello, a promising young pitcher, was just optioned down to the minors after two starts in the majors in which he was pounded to a 10.13 ERA. Also, in the offseason, the Mariners signed James Paxton, who had Tommy John surgery last year and would not be ready to pitch until the second half of the season. However, he has not started his rehabilitation assignment and will likely not be back for a few more weeks.
There are still two weeks until the trade deadline of August 2, so Boston might also seek outside the team for reinforcements. Despite a deteriorating rotation due to a slew of injuries, the club entered today’s game at 48-44, just one game back of the Blue Jays in the race for a wild card place. Although the Blue Jays have since defeated the Royals and pulled ahead by 0.5 games, Starting pitchers Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Frankie Montas are rumoured to be available. However, the Red Sox will not have it easy in those regions, as most playoff teams are on the lookout for pitching help at the moment.