The Boston Red Sox have been quite successful in the first half of spring training this year, seeing a number of players perform well or return from injuries. The best news for the Red Sox thus far has been the performance of pitcher Chris Sale, who has looked sharp in his first two starts after a slew of injuries ruined his 2022 season.
However, Red Sox manager Alex Cora is not ready to push Sale to the head of the line just yet. While he has not revealed who his Opening Day starter will be when Boston hosts the Baltimore Orioles March 30, he did say it will not be Sale.
“You can write that one down. He’s not,” Cora said. “I want him to enjoy [Opening Day] as a regular baseball player. Just the whole Opening Day thing. Wherever he pitches in the rotation is where he’ll pitch in the rotation.”
Sale has thrown 5 scoreless innings in his first two starts of the spring. His velocity has been excellent, his control has been good and his throwing motion appears free and easy.
During the first seven years of his career with the Chicago White Sox, Sale was one of the most durable pitchers in baseball. He had 29 starts or more from 2012 through 2016 in Chicago.
Chris Sale moved on to the Red Sox in 2017 and had a 32-start season that year, but injuries began to crop up the following year. He did not pitch at all in the 2020 season and has had just 11 starts in the last 2 seasons.
Cora is expected to name an Opening Day starter shortly, and it could be veteran Corey Kluber.