Chris Sale officially heading for IL as Red Sox brace for MRI results


Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is bound for the IL as the team awaits MRI results on his sore shoulder. 

The Boston Red Sox are treading water at the bottom of a very competitive AL East right now. Every win counts, and the recent resurgence of star pitcher Chris Sale gave the fanbase a lot to look forward to.

On Thursday, however, Sale exited Boston’s game against Cincinnati early with “shoulder soreness.” That news came as a blow to Red Sox fans and undoubtedly to Sale, who has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries over the last two years.

Sale received an MRI on Friday and, as Boston awaits the results, it would appear a stint on the IL is inevitable.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale likely bound for IL

Shoulder injuries are never the best news in the pitching world. When asked about Sale’s status before the Red Sox’s Friday night game, manager Alex Cora said he hopes the issue is “minor,” but noted that a trip to the IL is probably the safest bet right now.

The Sox as a team can’t afford to get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions. The AL East is the most cutthroat division in baseball, featuring the league-leading Rays and the red-hot Yankees and Orioles at the top. Boston is two games above .500 but 10.0 games out of first place (and still 4.0 games out of third place). A wild card berth is within reach, but it will take a strong second half of the season.

Boston will hope Sale can return sooner than later. His stats for the season aren’t great — 4.58 ERA, 1.186 WHIP — but he was pitching much better in the month of May, registering a 3-0 record and 2.42 ERA during that span. Given Sale’s long injury history, one has to imagine the franchise will take the cautious approach. Boston has the long game to play with plenty of games left in the regular season.

The Sox broke a three-game losing streak on Thursday, despite Sale’s early exit. They will look to continue that momentum in their forthcoming series with Tampa Bay, an opportunity for them to make up some ground in the standings.

Sale, meanwhile, won’t be available for his next start at the very least, according to Cora. We can expect more updates on this story in the coming hours and days.

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