What Happened to Chris Sale?

Frank Jones

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What Happened to Chris Sale

Chris Sale is one of the most talented left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB). He has established himself as a dominant force on the mound, with an impressive career record that includes seven All-Star Game selections, a World Series championship, and a lifetime ERA of 3.03.

However, in 2022, Sale’s season was cut short by a devastating injury that kept him off the field for almost the entire year.

In this blog post, we will explore what happened to Chris Sale, including the nature of his injuries, the impact on the Boston Red Sox, and his eventual return to the mound. We will also analyze the potential impact of Sale’s comeback on the team’s performance in the 2023 MLB season.

The Injuries

In March 2021, Sale experienced discomfort in his left elbow during a spring training game. After undergoing an MRI, it was revealed that he had a flexor strain in his pitching arm, which caused him to miss the start of the 2021 season.

Although the injury did not require surgery, Sale was placed on the injured list and underwent a rehabilitation process to recover.

In May 2022, Sale made his first two starts of the season but was quickly sidelined again due to a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), which required Tommy John surgery.

The UCL is a crucial ligament that connects the bone of the upper arm to the forearm, and is essential for pitching. This injury is relatively common among baseball players and requires an extensive recovery period, usually taking 12-18 months before returning to the mound.

Tommy John surgery involves reconstructing the damaged UCL by taking a tendon from another part of the body and using it to replace the damaged ligament.

In Sale’s case, the surgery was successful, and he began his rehabilitation process in the hope of returning to the mound as soon as possible.

Sale’s rehabilitation process involved several months of physical therapy and throwing programs, which gradually increased in intensity as his elbow healed.

He worked closely with the Boston Red Sox medical staff, who monitored his progress and determined when he was ready to return to pitching. The rehab process was long and tedious, but Sale remained focused and determined to return to the mound as soon as possible.

Impact on the Boston Red Sox

Sale’s performance prior to his injuries was outstanding. In his 10-year career, he had a record of 109 wins and 73 losses, with an ERA of 3.03 and an impressive 2,007 strikeouts. He was a crucial part of the Boston Red Sox’s success, helping them win the World Series in 2018.

Sale’s absence was a significant blow to the Red Sox’s 2022 season. His injury came at a time when the team was struggling with injuries and inconsistent performances from other pitchers.

Sale’s absence left a significant void in the team’s starting rotation, and the Red Sox were forced to rely on younger and less experienced pitchers to fill the gap. As a result, the team struggled, finishing the season with a record of 75-87, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

To cope with Sale’s absence, the Red Sox relied on a combination of young, untested pitchers and experienced veterans. The team also made a few mid-season trades to acquire additional pitching depth, but ultimately, they were unable to replace Sale’s dominant presence on the mound.

The team’s strategy for coping with his absence was to play a more balanced game, relying on strong hitting and defense to make up for the lack of dominant pitching. While this strategy worked in some games, it was not enough to carry the team to the playoffs.

Chris Sale’s Return

After almost a year of rehabilitation, Chris Sale made his long-awaited return to the mound for the Boston Red Sox in the 2023 season.

He made his first start on April 15th, pitching four innings and allowing two runs on two hits with seven strikeouts. Sale’s return was met with excitement from both fans and his teammates, who were eager to see him back on the mound.

Sale’s first few starts have been promising, showing glimpses of his pre-injury dominance. In his second start on April 21st, he pitched six innings, giving up only one run on three hits with nine strikeouts.

While he has shown some rust and inconsistencies, he has also displayed his signature command and control on the mound.

Sale’s potential impact on the Red Sox’s 2023 season cannot be overstated. As one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game, he brings a level of experience, leadership, and dominance that is hard to replicate.

His return to form could be a game-changer for the Red Sox, giving them a much-needed boost in their starting rotation. If he can stay healthy and pitch to his potential, he could be a significant factor in the team’s push for the playoffs and possibly even a World Series championship.

His presence on the mound will also take pressure off the younger pitchers and provide a much-needed anchor to the team’s pitching staff.

Chris Sale’s Career Statistics

Games pitched283
Games started232
All-Star selections7
Cy Young awards1

The table summarizes some of the most significant statistics from Chris Sale’s career, including the number of games he has pitched and started, his win-loss record, his ERA, and his strikeouts. It also includes information about his All-Star selections and his Cy Young award.


How many times has Chris Sale been named to the All-Star team?

Chris Sale has been named to the All-Star team seven times in his career.

What was the nature of Sale’s second injury in 2022?

Sale’s second injury was a torn UCL in his left elbow, which required Tommy John surgery to repair.

When did Chris Sale last pitch before his 2023 return?

Chris Sale last pitched in the 2021 season, where he made only two starts before being sidelined by injury.

How long was Sale’s rehabilitation process before his return in 2023?

Sale’s rehabilitation process took almost a year before he was able to make his return to the mound in the 2023 season.

Has Chris Sale ever won a Cy Young award?

Yes, Chris Sale won the American League Cy Young award in 2018, when he went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 237 strikeouts.


Chris Sale’s injuries and subsequent rehabilitation process have been a challenging journey for the Boston Red Sox and their fans. His absence from the mound during the 2022 season was felt deeply, as the team struggled without his dominant presence on the pitching staff.

However, with his return in the 2023 season, there is renewed hope and excitement for the team’s potential success. Sale’s performance in his first few starts has been promising, and his impact on the team’s overall success cannot be underestimated.

The Red Sox’s fans and organization will be eagerly watching his progress, hoping that he can continue to pitch at a high level and help lead the team to a successful season.

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