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Chris Sale on DL stint: 'I really don't want to be sitting on the sidelines, especially this time of year'

John Tomase
August 18, 2018 - 5:13 pm

So much for nothing to see here.

The quickest path to derailing the juggernaut known as the 2018 Red Sox passes directly through the left shoulder of ace Chris Sale, and on Saturday that collective gulp you heard was the sound of Sale being placed on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this month because of mild shoulder inflammation.

"When I started throwing again, it just kind of didn't respond the way we wanted it to," Sale told reporters at Fenway Park. "Didn't really bounce back the way we wanted it to. Just kind of adjust and kind of map things out and see where it takes us."

Sale missed two weeks in early August with the first iteration of the injury, which both he and the team assured us would only cause him to miss a start. The Red Sox sat him for two out of an abundance of caution, and Sale returned on Aug. 12 with a dominating five innings against the Orioles, allowing one hit and striking out 12.

Unfortunately, he didn't feel as well between starts as he had hoped, and so now he's back in rest mode.

"Just time," Sale said. "Unfortunately it stinks right now where we're at in this point of the season. With inflammation, there's only so much you can do and rest, as of now. It stinks. I don't really want to be sitting on the sidelines, especially this time of year, the situation we're in."

Sale's importance to the Red Sox can't be overstated. The Cy Young favorite is 12-4 with a league-leading 1.97 ERA and 219 strikeouts. The goal now is ensuring he's healthy and at full strength come October.

"We've still got a lot of season left," Sale said. "We don't want to overlook that. At the same time, we want to be able to kind of sprint across the finish line, not limp into it. Like I said, bad timing obviously. Anybody who knows me knows I'm not the biggest fan of what's going on right now, but it is what it is. You deal with it, keep your chin up, put one foot in front of the other and just keep grinding."

There's no timetable on Sale's return.

"We have to take care of him," manager Alex Cora told reporters. "This guy is very important for what we're trying to accomplish, and if he needs to skip one, two, three, whatever, we're willing to do that. He'll be back. Like he said, he feels better than the last time we put him on the DL. So, he'll get his rest, he'll go through treatment, and we'll go from there."