Boston Red Sox: Time to stop counting on Chris Sale

Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox just cannot seem to catch a break in the month of July. Every time it seems like they are going to gather some momentum and make a run up the standings, they get dealt a blow that pushes them back down a few notches.

The latest in a long line of poor play and injuries came this afternoon when Chris Sale was forced out of his second start of the season after taking a line drive to his left hand. The Red Sox confirmed that Sale fractured his left pinky finger, meaning he will be forced back on the injured list just a few days after he was taken off it.

This is another blow for the Sox, but also for Sale. He’s dealt with several injuries ever since Boston’s 2018 World Series win, and while there’s really nothing he could have done about this one, it means he will be spending more time in the trainers room and less time on the field. It may be time to accept the fact that Boston can no longer count on Sale to produce for them.

The Boston Red Sox cannot afford to keep counting on Chris Sale

Admittedly, Sale’s newest injury was a freak accident; it could have happened to anyone, but it just so happened to be Sale. It’s unfortunate, but Sale’s injury woes are becoming a real problem for the Red Sox.

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Ever since Sale signed his five year, $145 million contract extension he’s been as inconsistent as ever. He’s rarely been on the mound, and when he has been, he’s typically struggled. Sale probably won’t ever be the same pitcher he once was, but he’s not pitching enough for anyone to really be able to make that determination.

Sale’s inconsistencies go beyond his inability to stay healthy. From 2019 on, when Sale has been pitching, he typically hasn’t been good. He had a 4.40 ERA in 2019, and when he came back from Tommy John last season he got rocked in each of his three playoff starts.

Even today, Sale wasn’t at his best. Sure he wasn’t out there long, but by the time he left Boston was already in a 3-0 hole that they were unable to overcome. Chances are he wouldn’t have lasted much longer even if he didn’t take a rocket to the hand.

Boston Red Sox fans everywhere keep using the ‘just wait until Sale is back’ mantra to hold them through struggles, but it’s time for that to stop. One way or another, Sale cannot be counted on to perform anymore. He’s proven that with his health woes and poor play when he’s actually been able to pitch over the past few years.

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The good news is Boston had largely gotten by early on this season without having Sale around, and while he could potentially return this season, they have the arms to get by without him. But with Sale missing time again, it’s time for Boston to realize they cannot continually rely on Sale to come back and be the player he once was. Unfortunately, that ship has sailed, and it’s time to look at other options on the pitching staff.