Red Sox LHP Sale diagnosed with elbow flexor strain

Field Level Media

March 05, 2020 at 5:21 pm.

Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has no significant damage in his pitching elbow.

An MRI of Sale’s left elbow revealed a flexor strain, interim manager Ron Roenicke said Thursday.

“Doctors have advised him to wait another week before he starts throwing again,” Roenicke told reporters, per ESPN. “He’ll start playing catch again. If everything is good, we’ll progress.”

The 30-year-old reported elbow discomfort after a 15-pitch batting practice session Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla. An MRI was performed on Tuesday, and renowned surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache reviewed the results.

Roenicke said that neither doctor recommended surgery for Sale.

Sunday’s outing marked the first time Sale had thrown to batters since August.

The seven-time All-Star missed the final six weeks last season with elbow inflammation. He got a late start to spring camp while battling pneumonia. The Red Sox previously announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Sale posted a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA in 2019, the worst year statistically of his career since he entered the Chicago White Sox rotation in 2012. He posted career lows in starts (25), wins and innings (147 1/3) and the highest ERA.

He has a 109-73 career record (35-23 with Boston) with a 3.03 ERA. He has 2,007 strikeouts in 1,629 2/3 innings over 312 games (232 starts).

Sale signed a five-year, $145 million contract extension in March 2019. The deal runs through the 2024 season and will pay him $30 million in 2020.

To address a need for more pitching, the Red Sox signed free agent right-hander Collin McHugh to a one-year contract. The deal includes a $600,000 base salary plus incentives, per the Boston Globe.

McHugh, 32, spent the last six seasons with Houston. He was a 19-game winner in 2015 and has a 58-43 record with a 3.95 ERA in 210 games (119 starts) with the Astros, Colorado Rockies (2013) and New York Mets (2012-13). He has 771 strikeouts in 800 2/3 innings.