Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale's inflammation in his pitching elbow is just that, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Monday afternoon.
Sale met with Dr. James Andrews in Florida on Monday, and the noted orthopedic surgeon confirmed the prior diagnosis, Passan reported, adding the left-hander "is expected to avoid Tommy John surgery."
The Red Sox later confirmed the diagnosis in a statement and noted that Sale was treated with a platelet-rich plasma injection.
"Dr. Andrews also recommended a period of shutdown from throwing," said Boston's president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in the statement. "Sale will be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. Andrews."
The 30-year-old Sale reported soreness in his elbow after his start on Wednesday against Cleveland, in which he struck out 12 Indians in 6 2/3 innings. A subsequent MRI exam could not rule out damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, which typically results in the surgery, so the pitcher visited Andrews for a second opinion.
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. Sale is in the midst of his worst season statistically of his career 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).
--Field Level Media