UPDATE: Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that Sale will be placed on the disabled list. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain, but the good news is that an MRI showed no ligament damage. The hope is that he won’t have to miss more than 15 days.
6:13 p.m. ET: Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com brings some potentially troubling news about White Sox left-hander Chris Sale:
Andre Rienzo is likely to fill in tomorrow night against the Tigers and Justin Verlander.
For all the concerns about Sale’s build and delivery, he has never been on the disabled list in his career. However, he was given a 10-day break from the rotation two years ago when the White Sox attempted to move him into the closer role. They reversed course after just one relief appearance. He also missed one start last season due to left shoulder tendinitis. The White Sox will have to hope that this is just a blip.
Sale, 25, is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 29/7 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings over his first four starts this season. He threw a career-high 214 1/3 innings last year.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.