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Chris Sale will be slow to start spring training

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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.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”