Red Sox Rumors: Chris Sale Has No Timetable to Return from Rib Injury

Adam WellsApril 1, 2022

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 20:  Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox walks back to the dugout during Game 5 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters Friday that an MRI on pitcher Chris Sale's ribs showed "some healing" but that there isn't a timetable for his return. 

The team announced March 16 he suffered a stress fracture in his rib cage. 

Injuries have been piling up for Sale in recent years. The seven-time All-Star has made fewer than 30 starts every season since 2018. He threw a total of 348 innings from 2018-21. 

Sale didn't pitch at all during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned to the rotation in August 2021, posting a 3.16 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 42.2 innings over nine starts. 

After making the American League Championship Series last season, the Red Sox didn't make any major additions to their pitching rotation. They signed Rich Hill and Michael Wacha in free agency, but they are depth options at this point in their careers. 

Nick Pivetta, Nathan Eovaldi and Tanner Houck are Boston's holdover starters from 2021. Eovaldi had the best season of his career last year. He finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting with a 3.75 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 182.1 innings. 

The strength of Boston's roster is the offense. Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez and Alex Verdugo anchor the middle of the order. They will have to carry the team as Cora pieces together his rotation.