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Chris Sale isn't going to let injury change him

Rob Bradford
September 04, 2018 - 10:03 am

ATLANTA -- Chris Sale is 29 years old. He has thrown the sixth-most pitches of any starter since 2013. And at the time of his recent bout with left shoulder inflammation, nobody was better at throwing a baseball.

So as Sale gets ready for his stretch-run into the 2018 season, and what figures to be a contract year in 2019, it's only common sense to wonder what this recent inconvenience will mean for the pitcher as he heads into the next chapters of his career.

Count Sale as one of those whose curiosity is piqued.

"At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. There’s a lesson to be learned," Sale told "I don’t know what it is yet. I’m still trying to figure it out."

What Sale does know is that he isn't about to let the injury impact how he how he does his business.

While we've seen numerous pitchers having to adjust their day-to-day due to injury-related issues (see David Price), the lefty doesn't view this situation another one of those scenarios. That is how confident he is that this shoulder thing is simply a blip on the radar.

"I’m not going to show up to spring training next year thinking we’re going to focus on this. Whenever I get done with this I’m going back to exactly what I used to do," Sale insisted. "It hasn’t been exactly blown up or gone too in-depth because it’s not a big deal. If there was a serious issue we would have to address it and we would be open about it. But we haven’t had to."

Sale is clearly confident when he takes the mound later this week he is going to be able to pick up where he left off. There will be no pulling back on those 100 mph fastballs, or babying the pedal-to-the-metal approach that got him to this point.

That's all because he doesn't believe this is a physical ailment which needs to be given more attention than it deserves.

"There was never any major issue with my shoulder. That’s the most important part. I think just being able to take a step back and just kind of focus on what I need to focus on. I never want to do this again but in the end there will be something I can take from this I can carry on forward," he said. "This wasn’t that happened on a single pitch or a mechanical issue or anything. It’s just something that happens with starting pitchers. Shoulders elbows, backs, knees all those kind of things, athletes run into them. It wasn’t anything chronic that came from before or is going to last forever. 

"It’s the complete end of the spectrum. That’s where there is a slight bit of satisfaction. The confidence comes from that this is a slight flash in the pan, a bump in the road. We’ll get through it."