Alex Cora clears up Chris Sale's role when he returns to Red Sox

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Cora clears up Chris Sale's role when he returns to Red Sox originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What will Chris Sale's role be when he makes his long-awaited return to the Boston Red Sox? Alex Cora set the record straight on Wednesday.

Despite speculation about Sale joining the bullpen, Cora told WEEI he sees the left-hander in the starting rotation when he's back from injury.

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“I believe Chris Sale is a starter," the Red Sox manager said, per The Boston Globe's Alex Speier. "He’s a starter in my eyes. I know he wants to contribute… With him in the rotation, we’re a lot better. We’ll take it that way.”

Consider that question answered.

Sale hasn't pitched since the 2021 postseason due to a stress fracture in his right rib cage. He suffered the injury on Feb. 24 while throwing during the lockout.

The 33-year-old suffered a non-baseball medical issue in early May that delayed his return timetable. Barring any further setbacks, Cora expects Sale to return "sooner rather than later."