Interim manager Ron Roenicke made the announcement today that Red Sox ace, Chris Sale, will be starting the 2020 season off on the Injured List.
With Sale missing the final six weeks of the 2019 season due to elbow inflammation, the news that he won’t be starting off the year on the mound could be alarming. But the decision to place him on the IL is simply due to his battle with pneumonia that held him out at the start of Spring Training.
Chris Sale will begin the season on the injured list, per Ron Roenicke. Pneumonia delayed the start of his spring and they’re not going to rush him to catch up. Not a surprise. Should be back within first 2-3 weeks.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 27, 2020
Roenicke also noted that Sale’s “doing great” with the buildup of his arm and they want him to notch six starts in Spring Training before he takes the mound in the regular season.
Sale met with Chaim Bloom, Roenicke and a group of the team’s trainers earlier in the week as they broke the news that he’ll be missing Opening Day for the first time as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Sale, widely known as the ultimate competitor, didn’t take the news lightly.
“It was a gut punch. When we were in that meeting, I told them the only thing that hurts is my ego. And that doesn’t matter.”
With losing Sale to start off the early portion of the year, that knocks the Red Sox current rotation from four down to three. It would be safe to assume at this point that Eduardo Rodriguez–the longest tenured member of the Sox on that staff–will be taking the ball on Thursday, March 26th against the Chicago White Sox.
Roenicke did also mention the possibility of having two openers in the five man rotation to fill the gap.
Roenicke says Sox could consider opener for two spots while Sale is on injured list, but team interested to see if someone emerges for a starting spot.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) February 27, 2020
The team continues to look within their own organization to fill that fifth spot. Names such as Ryan Weber and Brian Johnson have been mentioned among potential options.