For the first time since Game 5 of the 2018 World Series last October, Red Sox ace Chris Sale was back on a mound and pitching in a game on Monday afternoon.
Granted, with the club having the day off, the left-hander’s 2019 spring debut came against a group of Red Sox minor leaguers at one of Fenway South’s backfields, but it was still exciting to see nonetheless.
Working three innings, Sale’s fastball velocity consistently hovered from 91 to 93 MPH on Monday, per the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
When speaking with media after his outing, the 29-year-old hurler said that he felt fine and will be ready to go again in five days.
On the topic of his fastball velocity, Sale stated that he held things back but felt that it was there if he wanted to go it, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham.
Abraham also noted that Alex Cora, Dana LeVangie, and Dave Dombrowski were among others in attendance to watch Sale work.
If the Florida native is set to pitch again in five days, his next start and 2019 Grapefruit League debut should come against the Atlanta Braves this Saturday at JetBlue Park.
As for when Sale will more than likely be named Boston’s Opening Day starter for the second consecutive year, Cora said on Sunday, “We can’t do that one yet. Maybe by the end of the week.”
Entering his final season before hitting free agency, Sale posted a 2.11 ERA and 13.5 K/9 in 27 games started and 158 innings pitched in 2018.