Chris Sale cautiously optimistic about health heading into 2023 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Chris Sale has seen enough over the past three years that he won’t get too excited, but the Boston Red Sox ace is cautiously optimistic about his health going into the 2023 season.
Sale missed all of 2020 and most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, then missed the first three months of the 2022 campaign with a broken rib. He made just two starts last season before bruising his left pinky finger on a comeback and then fracturing his right wrist in a bicycle accident that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
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While the 33-year-old didn’t want to get himself down, he shared an encouraging update.
“Humpty Dumpty got put back together,” Sale told reporters at Red Sox winter weekend.
“But really (I feel) good. I started playing catch when I did it a lot in the offseason. Now have been playing long toss. Getting off a mound before I get up. As of right now, we’re where we need to be. Don’t talk too loudly.”
The Red Sox pitchers and catchers are scheduled to travel to Fort Myers, Fla., for spring training on Feb. 15. Sale is expected to give it his all when it comes to work.
“I’m very, very excited about the future,” Sale said. “This is the first spring training I’ve been excited about in a while. I’m so grateful for it. Just want to hang on to it and run with it.
“I’ve been in really good shape,” he added. “My arm feels great. I don’t hesitate to keep throwing. Just keep off the bike and the doom.”
A healthy Sale at the top of the rotation will be a game-changer for Boston in 2023. Understandably, with the veteran southpaw making just 12 appearances since 2019, there wasn’t much expectation that it would materialize.
Sale knew he had a lot to prove.
“I owe these people something,” he said. “I owe my teammates a starting pitcher they think they’re going to get. I owe the front office a starting pitcher they’re paying for. I owe them the fans they paid to come to the show.”