Chris Sale hits injured list with elbow inflammation, getting second opinion from James Andrews

Yahoo Sports Contributor
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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8780/" data-ylk="slk:Chris Sale">Chris Sale</a> holds a 4.40 ERA with the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/boston/" data-ylk="slk:Red Sox">Red Sox</a> this season. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Chris Sale holds a 4.40 ERA with the Red Sox this season. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox were already struggling to stay afloat in the American League playoff race. Saturday’s news probably won’t be a buoy for them.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale was placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, dreaded words for any pitcher.

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Adding to the concern among Boston’s beat writers were two key details.

First, Sale wasn’t made available to speak to the media before Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.

The other was the mention of Dr. James Andrews.

Given that the words “elbow inflammation” and “James Andrews” are often precursors to the words “Tommy John surgery,” it is possible Sale could be out for the rest of the 2019 season and much of 2020.

General manager Dave Dombrowski says Sale experienced stiffness on Wednesday and Thursday, which he informed the athletic training staff about on Friday. That led to the MRI, which revealed the inflammation.

Sale was having an off year with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts, but he was still an extremely important part of any Red Sox hopes for this season and the next. He currently ranks second in all of MLB in strikeout rate at 35.6 percent, behind only the Houston AstrosGerrit Cole.

At this point, we’re in wait and see mode. The Red Sox should have more definite answers over the next few days.

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