Red Sox News: Chris Sale Avoids Tommy John Surgery After Exam on Elbow Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers in the first inning in a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Boston Red Sox received good news Monday, as pitcher Chris Sale will not require Tommy John surgery to fix his current elbow injury, team president Dave Dombrowski announced in a press release.

"Sale was evaluated by Dr. James Andrews this morning in Pensacola, Florida. Dr. Andrews confirmed that Sale has inflammation in his left elbow and treated it with a platelet-rich plasma injection. Dr. Andrews also recommended a period of shutdown from throwing. Sale will be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. Andrews."

Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported the news. 

Sale was placed on the injured list Saturday due to elbow inflammation after an MRI couldn't determine the extent of the damage to his elbow. 

The 30-year-old struck out 12 batters in his latest start on Aug. 13, although he struggled as the game wore on and eventually allowed five runs (three earned) in 6.2 innings.

Sale has allowed at least five earned runs in five of his last nine starts. However, he can still be dominant, as he demonstrated with his eight innings of shutout ball against the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 8. He totaled 13 strikeouts and no walks in that gem.

Unfortunately, inconsistency has remained an issue for a player who is usually as reliable as they come.

Sale's current 4.40 ERA is more than double his mark from last season, when he finished 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA. He landed in the top six of Cy Young voting for the seventh year in a row.

Although he might not need Tommy John surgery, something was clearly off with the veteran pitcher lately.

Considering he is signed through at least 2024 at more than $27 million each year, the Red Sox will hope he can get healthy and back on track.

Meanwhile, Boston has major question marks in its rotation with David Price also on the injured list. The Red Sox have already used 11 different starters, and they could need even more to hold things down until Sale can return.