Red Sox ace Chris Sale shut down for at least 6 weeks, season likely over

The Boston Red Sox announced on Monday that ace Chris Sale is suffering from elbow inflammation and will be re-evaluated in six weeks, essentially ending his season.

“Sale was evaluated by Dr. James Andrews this morning in Pensacola, Florida,” a team statement read. “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.”

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com the team does not expect Sale to pitch again this year.

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Earlier Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Sale will likely avoid Tommy John surgery.

Sale was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday after feeling soreness in his left elbow.

Blow for Boston’s playoff hopes

His shutdown is a blow to the long-shot playoff hopes of the Red Sox, who are 6 1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild card spot.

Chris Sale reportedly won't need Tommy John surgery on his sore left elbow. (Reuters)
Chris Sale reportedly won't need Tommy John surgery on his sore left elbow. (Reuters)

Sale’s struggles

Sale, 30, is in the midst of the worst season of his career, posting a 4.40 ERA while allowing 1.5 home runs per nine innings. Prior to this season, the seven-time All-Star’s career-worst ERA was 3.41 in 2015.

His average four-seam fastball velocity is down 1.8 mph from last season, though it’s unclear if that’s indicative of a physical problem or a conscious choice to reduce wear on his arm.

Sale recently signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension that runs through 2025.

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