The Boston Red Sox placed left-hander Chris Sale on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation on Saturday, and he could be finished for the season.
Among the doctors who will examine Sale’s medical tests is noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
“I don’t know,” Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, said about Sale’s chances of returning to the mound in 2019. “I don’t know one way or the other at this point. The other doctors will look at the information, look at his MRI and then he’ll determine if he wants to go see them or not. The first one will be Dr. Andrews.”
Sale threw 6 2/3 innings and struck out 12 on Tuesday in a win against the Indians in Cleveland. Dombrowski told reporters that Sale reported being stiff in the following days and informed team doctors on Friday. He had medical tests on Saturday that will be evaluated on Monday, Dombrowski said.
The pitcher wasn’t available to speak to the media on Saturday.
“I think he’s upset that he’s going on the injured list, yes,” Dombrowski said. “I can’t tell you anything other than inflammation. I can’t tell you what’s on the MRI.”
Sale was on the injured list twice last season with left shoulder inflammation.
The Red Sox acquired Sale in a December 2016 trade with the Chicago White Sox and signed him to a five-year, $145 million contract that takes effect next season. He is being paid $15 million this season in the final year of his previous contract.
On the season, he is 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA. He got off to an 0-5 start and there were worries early in the year about his velocity, when his fastball averaged 89.1 mph during an April game against Oakland, which was the lowest in a single game in his career.
If Sale’s year is over, this will be the worst season statistically in the career of the seven-time All-Star since he entered the White Sox rotation in 2012, posting career lows in starts (25), wins (six) and innings (147 1/3) and the highest ERA at 4.40.
For his career, Sale has a 109-73 record (35-23 with Boston) with a 3.03 ERA. He has struck out 2,007 batters in 1,629 2/3 innings over 312 games (232 starts).
In a corresponding move, team recalled right-handed pitcher Ryan Brasier from Triple-A Pawtucket. Brasier, 31, has posted a 4.24 ERA with seven saves in 44 relief appearances for the Red Sox this season.
—Field Level Media