AL East

What To Expect From Chris Sale In 2022

In March of 2020, the Boston Red Sox announced ace pitcher, Chris Sale was going to undergo Tommy John surgery. Sale was eventually shut down after having the worst season of his career, going 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA, in 25 starts. Sale had successful surgery on March 30th, 2020, also his 31st birthday. Tommy John recovery lasts anywhere from nine months to a full year, typically. Sale was out more than seventeen months. First, he suffered a setback with a stiff neck, and then with a bout of Covid-19. The brass in the front office were also weary of rushing him back, as he had just signed a five-year, $129.5 million dollar extension, in March of 2019.

How Should Alex Cora Handle Chris Sale In 2022?

Chris Sale returned to the mound on August 14, 2021, against the Baltimore Orioles, at Fenway Park. The rest of the season, he complied a 5-1 record to go along with a 3.16 ERA. Boston went on to make the playoffs and lose in the ALCS to the Houston Astros. We’re onto 2022. In looking ahead, all eyes should be on manager, Alex Cora. How much will he influence who they sign after the lockout? In what way will he construct his lineups, starting rotation, and bullpen? How short will Chris Sale’s leash be? The answer, in my eyes? There will be no leash. Sale is a bona-fide workhorse, a fierce competitor on the bump, and an absolute stud. When he’s healthy, at 100% strength, he’s a top five pitcher in the game today, and a top five left-handed pitcher of all time. We can agree or agree to disagree on that all day long. He’s the closest thing to a modern-day Randy Johnson we have. His wipeout slider was even voted the “Nastiest pitch” by MLB hitters a few years ago.

The Red Sox were so close to the world series this past year, they could taste it. Cora is going to have to unleash his top dog in 2022 if they want to reach even further next year. Come time for the season to start, Sale will be 33 years old, with a TJ surgery under his belt. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t deter Cora or the front office from letting Sale go out every fifth day, hope for at least 6 innings a start while keeping the pitch count right around 100, and let him try to reach 200 innings on the season. That’s the kind of stuff championship caliber, ace pitchers do.

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