Chris Sale unlikely to be used out of the bullpen in ALDS Game 3

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Red Sox’ skipper John Farrell has been mulling over his options for Game 3 of the ALDS, which is scheduled to kick off on Sunday at 2:30 PM ET. On Saturday, he mentioned to reporters that he was considering using both David Price and Chris Sale out of the bullpen, the general idea being that it was “all hands on deck” during a must-win game. By Sunday afternoon, however, he changed his tune, saying that he’d like to spare Sale the relief appearance in order to prepare him for a potential Game 5 start.

That’s a pretty optimistic view for a club whose rotation has taken an 11-run beating at the hands of the Astros over Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS. The bullpen has fared little better, though it’s worth noting that Price and Rick Porcello (who’s currently tabbed for a potential Game 4 start) fired a combined 3 2/3 scoreless frames in consecutive losses.

As for Sale, he’s coming off of a disastrous start in Game 1, when he scattered nine hits, seven runs and six strikeouts over five innings. Three of those runs came via the long ball: Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve went back-to-back in the first inning and Altuve returned for a second helping in the fifth.

Doug Fister is set to take the hill for the Red Sox on Sunday, and Farrell appears to be pinning his hopes on a lengthy, run-free start from the right-hander. That’s easier said than done. Fister hasn’t recorded a full six innings since the first week of September and folded against the Astros during his last start of the regular season, taking his ninth loss of the year with three runs, five hits and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. In the postseason, however, things don’t look quite so bleak. The veteran righty carries more clout than either Porcello or potential Game 3 starter Eduardo Rodriguez, touting a 4-1 record and 1.78 ERA over eight starts with the 2011-2013 Tigers and 2014 Nationals.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.