Chris Sale likely to be activated this week

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White Sox ace Chris Sale struck out 11 batters over four scoreless innings in a rehab start Friday night at Triple-A Charlotte and then threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon. If he wakes up Wednesday with no abnormal soreness, the lefty could be activated from the disabled list during this weekend’s four-game series against the Yankees.

“He threw free and easy enough to be able to be one of those (starters in that four-game set),” White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago on Tuesday. “How early, it’s too early to say. Seeing how he feels going through tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll make a decision based on that.”

Sale has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a flexor muscle strain in his pitching elbow.

The 25-year-old had a 2.30 ERA in four starts before suffering the elbow injury and boasts an outstanding 2.93 ERA (146 ERA+) with 558 strikeouts through his first 528 innings at the major league level.

Dave Dombrowski gives John Farrell a vote of confidence

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Earlier, we learned via Tuesday’s report from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that Red Sox manager John Farrell could find himself on the hot seat given the team’s slow start and a couple of incidents with Dustin Pedroia and Drew Pomeranz.

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal spoke to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who gave Farrell a vote of confidence. Dombrowski said, “We all have our pluses and minuses. But when I see some of the things we’ve talked about, I don’t know how you say that’s John Farrell’s fault. It’s not his fault that we’ve scuffled to pitch in the fifth spot with [Kyle] Kendrick and [Hector] Velazquez. The injury factors. Really in many ways, I tip my hat to our guys, led by John, that we’re in the position that we’re in right now. We’re three and a half out on May 24. There’s a long time to go. We haven’t gotten buried.”

Dombrowski added, “He’s our manager. He’s done fine. If I didn’t think that, then he wouldn’t be in his role.”

Farrell is signed through 2018 as the Red Sox exercised his ’18 option in December. That doesn’t mean the Red Sox can’t let him go, but given the lack of realistic options to step in and fill Farrell’s shoes and Dombrowski’s vote of confidence, it looks like the skipper has job security for now.

Jacoby Ellsbury diagnosed with concussion, neck sprain after leaving game

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The Yankees announced that Jacoby Ellsbury left the game with a concussion and a neck sprain after making a great catch, crashing into the center field wall at Yankee Stadium to snag an Alcides Escobar fly ball for the first out of the first inning Wednesday night against the Royals.

Ellsbury was shaken up after the play, requiring the attention of manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue.

Ellsbury initially stayed in the game and finished the top of the first inning. However, Aaron Hicks replaced Ellsbury in center field to start the top of the second inning. Ellsbury was batting sixth and did not have an at-bat prior to exiting.