MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports that Red Sox starter Chris Sale will be slow to start spring training due to an illness. Cotillo clarifies that Sale’s arm is fully healthy.
Sale, 30, missed the final six weeks of the regular season due to inflammation in his left elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection back in August and has had a fairly normal offseason. The lefty is the ace atop a depleted starting rotation that is now sans David Price.
In 25 starts last season, Sale went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA and a 218/37 K/BB ratio across 147 1/3 innings. It was, by many measures, the worst season of his 10-year career. The Red Sox are hoping Sale can bounce back in 2020 as his five-year, $145 million contract extension begins.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.