Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale was dealing with elbow soreness for a while before opting for Tommy John surgery.
Now that the surgery is finally over, and it was successful, Sale is feeling rather relieved that he can hopefully return to the player he once was.
“It’s kind of funny to say this, but I’m actually really happy with where I’m at right now,” Sale said on Tuesday in a conference call, according to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic. “I’ve been chasing a ghost for seven months right now. To have a definitive answer, to have a finish line … I’ve said to a few people, everyone is like, ‘This sucks, sorry to hear about the news.’ For me, this is the first hard answer I’ve had in a long time and at the end of the day I know what I’m getting. I know what’s at the end of this road.”
Sale added that the surgery was the least he can do for his teammates and fans after signing a five-year, $145 million extension before the 2019 season.
“I owe that to the team, to my teammates, and to the fans. I’m sitting out a year, and the team put their faith in me to pitch at the highest level for five more years, and I’m, at best, only going to give them four. I take a lot of pride in what I do, and I don’t take it lightly. I have a chip on my shoulder — and I guess, I have a chip in my elbow, too — and I’ve got to find a way to get back to who I am and what I can do as best as possible.”
Clearly, getting back to competing at a high level is important to Sale. The left-hander went 6-11 in 2019 with a 4.40 ERA and 24 home runs allowed which is pretty uncharacteristic for the 31-year-old.
The seven-time All-Star had a 2.51 ERA through his first two seasons in Boston with a 29-12 record, 545 strikeouts and a .916 WHIP. He did experience elbow soreness in 2018, but it didn't truly come out until the 2019 season.
Tommy John surgery has helped the careers of New York Mets' Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg and St. Louis Cardinals' Adam Wainwright. Sale's career was likely taking a turn for the worse before surgery, but now we'll have to wait and see if it truly helps him turn things around like the pitchers mentioned above did.
You'll receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams.
Emailed daily. Always FREE!