The Red Sox announced on Monday that starter Chris Sale saw Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the lefty is dealing with inflammation in his pitching elbow. Sale received a platelet-rich plasma injection and has been shut down from throwing. He will be reevaluated in six weeks.
Six weeks takes us to the day after the end of the regular season, so Sale is effectively done for the year. The Red Sox are 16.0 games out of first place in the AL East, but are 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card. Even if the Red Sox got into the playoffs as a Wild Card, Sale would need to build his stamina back up so he likely wouldn’t be available in the ALDS at the very least.
Sale, 30, went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA and a 218/37 K/BB ratio in 147 1/3 innings across 25 starts this year. His five-year, $145 million contract extension will begin next year.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.