What Chris Sale told the media when speaking for first time since Tommy John surgery

Rob Bradford
April 07, 2020 - 12:29 pm

For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale held a conference the media Tuesday afternoon. Here are some highlights:

- "I'm really happy where I'm at right now. I've been chasing a ghost for seven months now ... For me, this is the first hard answer I have gotten ..."

- He has no regrets about not having surgery prior to now: "I sleep easier knowing we did everything we could ... We turned over every stone."

- "I've known my entire career Tommy John could be an option... I truly thought I was in the clear." He thought his arm was going to be as good as ever coming spring training. When he felt pain, "It was a punch to the gut."

- Said first live bullpen session everything was fine and he was symptom-free, throwing 95 mph. After a couple of hours following post-workout exercises started getting tight. The next day went in talked to trainers about what he was feeling and led to getting an MRI.

- As part of the 2015 game at Camden Yards with no fans in the stands, Sale remembered, "That was actually a really weird experience. ... It was a weird feeling having nobody in the stands. But sometimes you have to adapt." 

- Sale admitted that he has wondered if he had coronavirus when shut down with pneumonia at the beginning of spring training. Also notes that if he did have it -- as contagious as it COVID-19 is -- he probably would have passed it on. "If there is a way to find out I would love to find out."

- Says he now has a right-handed Wiffleball cutter which "Mariano (Rivera) wishes he had."

- "There is never a good time (for surgery) but if there ever was this would probably be it."

- Has talked to teammates who have undergone surgery such as Brandon Workman, Ryan Brasier and Nathan Eovaldi. Their advice was to look at the process two weeks at a time instead of a year-long endeavor. "I have a chip on my shoulder ... Well, I guess I have a chip in my elbow, too."

- Says he believes being isolated from family for four or five months, as has been suggested in MLB's recent plan to get back to playing, would be tough. He is confident powers that be will come up with a good solution.

- Sale was tested for COVID-19 prior to his surgery.