Chris Sale

Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports

Dombrowski confident Red Sox ace Chris Sale will be himself by late September

John Tomase
August 22, 2018 - 3:22 pm

The Red Sox have one goal for Chris Sale during his second stint on the disabled list this month: be locked in by late September.

That was the message from president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski during a Jimmy Fund Radiothon interview with Dale & Keefe on Wednesday.

"Well you never like to see anybody on the DL, and your ace in particular," Dombrowski said. "I also think you try to keep it in levels of concern. And this one, as far as disablements, is not a major concern. It's easily identified from a doctor perspective, Chris knows what it is, we've been able to take care of it once already."

Sale lasted just one start, striking out 12 in five dominant one-hit innings against the Orioles last week before being shelved by shoulder discomfort. The Red Sox believed Sale had healed at that point, but he clearly needed more time.

Now he'll get it.

"Maybe, and nobody really knows, but when Chris went out there, we gave him a little bit of extra time, he was pain free at that time," Dombrowski said. "Maybe we need to give it just a little bit more time. It's not as bad as it was last time. I think we will get him plenty ready for late September. If we were not in the situation we're in right now with a good lead, I think he'd probably be out there and pitching. We're also in a position where we don't want to do that to him. We'd much rather have him throw like he did in Baltimore that particular day coming back than we would him fighting through this on a continued basis."

In a followup text message, Dombrowski made it clear that the reference to late September wasn't a timetable on Sale's absence, but rather a target for when he should be firing on all cylinders.

"We have no specific timeframe," Dombrowski wrote. "We feel he will be ready by then. We are taking this day by day."