Red Sox select Jeurys Familia from Triple-A Worcester, option Kaleb Ort; Chris Sale transferred to 60-day injured list

Before taking on the Yankees at Fenway Park on Saturday night, the Red Sox selected the contract of veteran reliever Jeurys Familia from Triple-A Worcester.

In order to make room for Familia on the 26-man roster, fellow reliever Kaleb Ort was optioned to Worcester following Friday night’s 3-2 win over New York. In order to make room for Familia on the 40-man roster, left-hander Chris Sale was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list, the club announced.

Familia, 32, signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox last Tuesday after being designated for assignment and subsequently released by the Phillies earlier this month. The Dominican-born right-hander had joined Philadelphia on a one-year pact back in March but struggled to the tune of a 6.09 ERA and 4.88 FIP with 33 strikeouts to 15 walks over 38 appearances spanning 34 innings of work.

In his lone outing with the WooSox in Moosic, Pa. this past Thursday, Familia struck out the side on 13 pitches (10 strikes) against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He works with a sinker, a four-seamer, a slider, and a splitter.

A veteran of 11 big-league seasons, Familia initially broke in with the Mets in 2012 and emerged as New York’s closer in 2015. He recorded a league-leading 51 saves in 2016 while being named an All-Star for the first time and finishing 17th in National League MVP voting.

Between the Mets, Athletics, and Phillies, Familia owns a 3.46 ERA (3.53 FIP) across 532 2/3 total innings at the major-league level. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound hurler will wear the No. 31 with the Red Sox.

Ort, meanwhile, just wrapped up his second stint of the season with Boston. The 30-year-old has pitched to a 9.00 ERA — but a much more respectable 4.05 FIP — to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 12 appearances (15 innings) with the big-league club so far in 2022.

Sale, on the other hand, saw his 2022 season come to an end last weekend after undergoing surgery to repair a broken right wrist that came as a result of a bicycle accident. The 33-year-old southpaw was already on the 15-day injured list due to a left fifth finger fracture, so he will no longer occupy a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster.

Following Saturday’s series of moves, the Red Sox’ 26-man and 40-man rosters are both currently at full capacity.

(Picture of Jeurys Familia: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 15-day injured list, option Connor Wong to Triple-A Worcester; Brayan Bello, Yolmer Sánchez called up

Before opening a three-game weekend series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Friday night, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves.

First off, left-hander Chris Sale was placed on the 15-day injured list with a left fifth finger fracture, retroactive to July 19. To take Sale’s place on the active roster, right-hander Brayan Bello was recalled from Triple-A Worcester.

Additionally, catcher Connor Wong was optioned to Worcester on Thursday. To take Wong’s place on the active roster, veteran infielder Yolmer Sanchez was selected to the 40-man roster from Worcester.

Sale, in the first inning of his second start of the season against the Yankees on Sunday, was struck in the hand by a 106.7 mph line drive off the bat of Aaron Hicks. The 33-year-old southpaw was immediately removed from the game and was later diagnosed with a broken left pinky. He underwent surgery — or an open reduction and internal fixation of a left fifth finger proximal phalanx fracture — in Wellesley, Mass. on Monday. The Red Sox are optimistic that he will pitch again this season.

Bello, meanwhile, is up with the Sox for the second time this season. The 23-year-old prospect made two starts against the Rays (one at home, one on the road) earlier this month and allowed a total of nine runs on 13 hits, six walks, and seven strikeouts over eight combined innings of work. He is expected to start Sunday’s series finale against Toronto.

On the position player side of things, Wong was optioned back down to Worcester so that the Red Sox could add another infielder (Sanchez) to their roster in place of the injured Trevor Story.

Wong took the place of Story on the major-league roster when the second baseman was placed on the 10-day injured list on Saturday. He appeared in two games during last weekend’s series in the Bronx and went 1-for-1 with a single.

Sanchez, meanwhile, made a brief cameo for Boston as a COVID-19 substitute back in June. Filling in for the then-unvaccinated Jarren Duran in Toronto on June 28, Sanchez went 0-for-1 with a walk and sacrifice bunt.

With the WooSox this season, the switch-hitting 30-year-old has batted .247/.378/.413 with 12 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 33 RBIs, 43 runs scored, six stolen bases, 50 walks, and 67 strikeouts over 78 games (303 plate appearances) while seeing playing time at every infield position besides first base.

The Red Sox did not not need to create an opening on their 40-man roster for Sanchez since rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski is currently on the COVID-19 related injured list. Boston’s 40-man roster is now at full capacity.

(Picture of Yolmer Sanchez: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Reeling Red Sox lose Trevor Story, Matt Strahm to injury in process of falling to Rays, 3-2; Chris Sale tosses 5 scoreless innings in season debut

Well, that was ugly.

Despite getting a strong start from Chris Sale and taking a two-run lead into the sixth inning, the Red Sox fell to the Rays by a final score of 3-2 at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

Sale, making his season debut, scattered just three hits and one walk to go along with five strikeouts over five scoreless frames. The veteran left-hander retired six of the first seven batters he faced before running into some trouble in the third, as he gave up a leadoff single to Yu Chang and one-out walk to Yandy Diaz. But he got out of that jam by sitting down Harold Ramirez and then punching out Christian Bethancourt.

Isaac Parades led off the bottom of the fourth with a hard-hit double and advanced to third on a Randy Arozarena groundout, but Sale stranded him there before ending his night with a 1-2-3 fifth inning. The 33-year-old southpaw threw 78 pitches (53 strikes) and induced a total of four swings-and-misses while averaging 95.1 mph with his four-seam fastball.

By the time he had recorded the final out of the fifth inning, Sale was in line for the win. That being the case because the Red Sox lineup had just gotten to Rays starter Corey Kluber for two runs in their half of the fifth.

After Alex Verdugo broke up Kluber’s no-hit bid with a one-out double, Trevor Story was hit in the right hand while swinging at a 3-1, 89 mph sinker that was ruled a foul ball. Story would have to leave the game and was later diagnosed with a right hand contusion. He was pinch-hit for by Jeter Downs, who moved Verdugo up to third base on a softly-hit single to left field.

Franchy Cordero then laid down a successful sacrifice bunt down the first base line that brought in Verdugo from third to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. Bobby Dalbec followed by plating Downs on an RBI triple to double his side’s advantage.

The sixth inning is where things began to spiral for Boston. Ryan Brasier took over for Sale out of the Red Sox bullpen and put runners at first and second in the process of recording the first two outs of the frame. Alex Cora then turned to Matt Strahm, who almost immediately gave up an RBI single to the pinch-hitting Francisco Mejia.

Mejia’s single put runners at first and second for Taylor Walls, who ripped a 98 mph comebacker off Strahm’s left wrist. Strahm lost his glove but attempted to get Walls out at first base to end the inning. He instead threw the ball away, which allowed Parades to score the game-tying run.

Cordero, meanwhile, retrieved Strahm’s errant toss and attempted to throw home to Christian Vazquez. That caught Vazquez off-guard, as he tried to block the ball with his chest protector before it rolled away, giving Mejia the opportunity to score from third to give Tampa Bay their first lead of the contest.

Both Strahm and Cordero were charged with throwing errors on the play, and Strahm had to be removed with what the team later diagnosed as a left wrist contusion. He was replaced by Kaleb Ort, who recorded the final out of the sixth.

Boston’s lack of fundamentals continued to haunt in the top of the seventh. Verdugo and Downs greeted new Rays reliever Jalen Beeks with back-to-back hits to put runners on the corners with no outs. But Verdugo, representing the tying run, was picked off by Mejia at third base for the first out of the inning. Beeks proceeded to escape the seventh unscathed before facing the minimum in a scoreless eighth.

With John Schreiber and Hirokazu Sawamura keeping the Rays off the scoreboard, the Red Sox found themselves still trailing by one run heading into their half of the ninth.

Matched up against left-handed reliever Brooks Raley, Downs drew a two-out walk but that was immediately negated when Cordero fanned on three pitches to end the game.

With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 47-41 on the season and 11-22 against divisional opponents. They are 4-8 in the month of July.

Next up: Winckowski vs. McClanahan

The Red Sox will send rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski to the mound on Wednesday as they look to avoid dropping another series an American League East rival. The Rays will counter with their ace in left-hander Shane McClanahan.

First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Red Sox activate Chris Sale from 60-day injured list ahead of left-hander’s season debut, option Brayan Bello to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox have reinstated left-hander Chris Sale from the 60-day injured list. In order to make room for Sale on the major-league roster, right-hander Brayan Bello was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Tuesday.

Sale will make his highly-anticipated 2022 debut against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. The 33-year-old southpaw missed the first three months of the season due to a right rib cage stress fracture he sustained while throwing live batting practice back in February. His recovery from that was slowed for a period of time in May because of a non-baseball medical issue.

After resuming his throwing program, Sale was sent out on a rehab assignment in late June. He made two starts in the Florida Complex League, one start for Double-A Portland, and one start for Triple-A Worcester.

In that outing for the WooSox against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Polar Park last Wednesday, Sale allowed one run on three hits, five walks, and five strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. He threw 72 pitches (42 strikes) during that stretch while mixing in a high-90s fastball, a mid-80s changeup, and a high-70s slider.

As Alex Cora and the Red Sox look to bounce back against the Rays on Tuesday, they are hoping to get about 85 pitches out of Sale, who will be working on an extra day of rest and is also in line to start Boston’s first-half finale in the Bronx on Sunday.

“I believe we can be more aggressive now compared to last year,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) on Monday. “Obviously, tomorrow, probably 85 pitches. But I think we’ll be more aggressive. The fact we’re thinking about pitching him Sunday tells you a lot.”

Sale, of course, missed all of 2020 and the first four months of 2021 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. When the lefty returned to the mound last year, he was still building back up his arm strength.

This time around, however, the Red Sox seem optimistic that Sale will be able to fire on all cylinders since he is not working his way back from a major arm surgery. It also helps that the Lakeland, Fla. native will be pitching close to home.

Bello, meanwhile, returns to Worcester after making the first two starts of his big-league career against the same opponent in the Rays. Neither of those outings went particularly well, as the 23-year-old rookie surrendered nine earned runs on 13 hits, six walks, and seven strikeouts across eight combined innings.

Still, Bello showed at times why he is regarded by many as the most exciting pitching prospect the Red Sox have had in years. The Dominican-born righty will take what he learned from his first taste of the majors back to Worcester, where he owns a 2.81 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) for the WooSox.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of growing, a lot of learning,” Cora said of Bello Monday night. “Tonight was a great learning experience for him. We were very pleased with the last two innings. He gave us a chance to win the game.”

By activating and Sale and optioning Bello, the Red Sox now have a full active and 40-man roster. Boston did not need to create a spot on its 40-man roster for Sale after placing backup catcher Kevin Plawecki on the COVID-19 related injured list on Monday.

Once Plawecki is ready to return, the Sox will need to take someone else off the 40-man roster since players on the COVID-related IL do not count against it.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Brayan Bello lasts just 4 innings in second start as Red Sox fall to Rays, 10-5

The Red Sox did not arrive in St. Petersburg, Fla. until about 4 a.m. eastern time Monday morning. It showed in their loss to the Rays on Monday night as Boston fell to Tampa Bay by a final score of 10-5 at Tropicana Field to drop to 47-40 on the season.

Brayan Bello, making his second start of the season, did not fare much better than he did in his major-league debut against the Rays at Fenway Park last Wednesday. This time around, the rookie right-hander allowed five earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and one hit batsman to go along with five strikeouts over four innings of work.

All five of those Tampa Bay runs came within the first two innings of Monday’s loss. In the first, Bello put three of the first four batters he faced on to fill the bases for Josh Lowe, who lifted a softly-hit two-run single to center field to give the Rays an early 2-0 lead. The Sox were able to respond in their half of the second, though, as Xander Bogaerts reached second base via a leadoff double, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored from third on an infield RBI single off the bat of Alex Verdugo.

Despite getting one of those runs back, Bello ran into more trouble in the bottom of the second by issuing a leadoff walk to Luke Raley. He then got the first two outs of the inning, but gave up run-scoring hits to three of the next four batters he faced to make it a 5-1 game in favor of Tampa Bay.

Again, Boston responded in its half of the third. Jarren Duran went from first to third on a Christian Vazquez double. Both runners were then driven in on a two-run double from J.D. Martinez that cut the deficit down to two runs at 5-3. Duran struck again in the fourth by plating Rob Refsnyder on an RBI single, although he was tagged out in between first and second base to end the inning.

Bello, meanwhile, had begun to settle in a bit and ended his night by tossing back-to-back scoreless frames. The 23-year-old finished with a final pitch count of 82 (48 strikes) and was taken off the hook in the top of the fifth.

There, while matched up against Luke Bard, J.D. Martinez ripped a 105.9 mph double and was immediately driven in by Bogaerts. Bogaerts and Verdugo then proceeded to advance to second and third base, but both runners were stranded in scoring position with Trevor Story grounding out and Franchy Cordero striking out to extinguish the threat.

In relief of Bello, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander yielded just one single in the bottom of the fifth before making way in the sixth for fellow southpaw Jake Diekman, who took over in a 5-5 game but could not keep the tie intact.

Instead, Diekman plunked the first Ray he faced in Taylor Walls, got the first out of the inning, and then surrendered a go-ahead RBI double to Yandy Diaz. Kaleb Ort came in for Diekman and allowed the runner he inherited to score on an RBI single from the pinch-hitting Harold Ramirez.

Phillips Valdez was next. He retired the side in order in the seventh but did not receive much defensive help in the eighth. Bobby Dalbec failed to catch a pop-up off the bat of Raley that should have gone for the first out of the inning. Walls then grounded into a force out at second before advancing to third on a Brett Phillips single. Diaz drove in Walls on a sacrifice fly before Ramirez scored Phillips on an RBI base hit back up the middle.

A groundball from Randy Arozarena that could not be corralled by Cordero kept the inning alive for Yu Chang, who plated Tampa Bay’s 10th and final run on another RBI single. Valdez was charged with three runs in the eighth. All three were unearned.

Down to their final three outs of the ninth, the Red Sox went down quietly against Jason Adam. They did not record a single hit in the last four innings of another defeat at the hands of a divisional opponent.

Next up: Sale’s 2022 debut on deck

Chris Sale will make his highly-anticipated season debut for the Red Sox in the second game of this four-game set. Boston will need to activate the left-hander from the 60-day injured list before first pitch on Tuesday night.

Opposing Sale will be veteran right-hander Corey Kluber for the Rays. Kluber and Sale finished first and second in American League Cy Young Award voting back in 2017.

First pitch from Tropicana Field on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Chris Sale to make 2022 debut against Rays on Tuesday

It’s official: Chris Sale will make his 2022 debut for the Red Sox when they go up against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

Sale has spent the entirety of the season on the 60-day injured list due to a right rib cage stress fracture he sustained while throwing a bullpen session at his alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, back in February. His recovery was then slowed for a few weeks in May because of a non-baseball health concern related to his family’s medical history.

After resuming his throwing program, Sale began a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League on June 20. The 33-year-old left-hander made two starts for Boston’s rookie-level affiliate before moving up to Double-A Portland. He then made one start for the Sea Dogs before taking his rehab to Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday.

Matched up against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Polar Park, Sale allowed one run on three hits and five walks to go along with five strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. Forty-two of the 72 pitches he threw went for strikes as he mixed in a high-90s fastball, mid-80s changeup, and high-70s slider.

Despite the high number of walks and the fact he did not pitch more than four innings in any of his outings, Sale will return to the Sox’ rotation to start the second game of their four-game series with the Rays.

Sale’s return should be a welcomed one, as the Red Sox currently find themselves mired in starting rotation issues with Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, and Michael Wacha all out on the injured list for the time being.

Since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2020, Sale has made just nine starts for Boston over the last three seasons. Unlike his recovery from elbow reconstruction, though, the veteran lefty says he is in a better place physically because he has not had to build back up his arm strength.

“Coming back from a major arm surgery last year, there were a lot of question marks still,” Sale said Wednesday. “This year’s more of just sharpening the sword, not rebuilding it.”

A seven-time All-Star, Sale is in the third year of the five-year, $145 million contract extension he signed with the Red Sox in March 2019. He has the ability to opt out of his deal at season’s end, though that seems unlikely to happen.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Chris Sale walks 5 in latest rehab start for Triple-A Worcester

In the fourth and possibly final start of his rehab assignment, Red Sox left-hander produced mixed results for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday night.

Pitching in front of a crowd of 8,891 at Polar Park, Sale allowed one run on three hits and five walks to go along with five strikeouts over just 3 2/3 innings of work in the WooSox’ 4-2 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

After tossing four innings in Portland last Thursday, the plan was for Sale to get stretched out to 65 pitches on Wednesday. A wrench was instead thrown into those plans due to a high pitch count.

Sale walked two of the first five batters he faced in the first inning and issued one more while striking out two of the four batters he faced in the top of the second. A leadoff walk of Tim Locastro to begin things in the third was negated when Jake Bauers grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.

In the fourth, Sale gave up back-to-back softy-hit singles to Phillip Evans and Greg Bird to lead off the inning. He then got the first out of the inning before giving up another weak single to Chris Owings that filled the bases.

A five-pitch punchout of Armando Alvarez increased Sale’s pitch count to 66. Rather than get pulled from the game, he got a visit from WooSox pitching coach Paul Abbott, who told him he had a hard limit of 70 pitches.

Sale followed that exchange by issuing a six-pitch walk to No. 9 hitter David Freitas, who proved to be the final RailRider he would face as Evans scored from third to make it a 1-1 game at the time.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 72 (42 strikes), Sale induced 14 swings-and-misses. The 33-year-old southpaw also averaged 94 mph and topped out at 97 mph with his fastball while mixing in a mid-80s changeup and high-70s slider, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

When speaking with reporters (including Speier) Wednesday night, Sale indicated that the lack of command he displayed can be attributed to an issue with his delivery, which he believes can be fixed easily.

“It’s nothing that can’t be cleaned up in this next week [with] a couple bullpen sessions,” Sale said. “This doesn’t really set me back.”

Sale began the season on the 60-day injured list due to a right rib cage stress fracture that he sustained in February. His return was then slowed for a period of time in May because of a non-baseball health concern related to his family’s medical history.

If this was indeed Sale’s final rehab outing, he would be on track to return to the Red Sox’ starting rotation during their series against the Rays in Tampa Bay next week. If not, he could make another start for one of Boston’s minor-league affiliates in order to refine his command before re-joining the big-league club.

Either way, Sale says he is feeling good physically and is in a different place than he was at this time last year while working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

“Coming back from a major arm surgery last year, there were a lot of question marks still,” said Sale. “This year’s more of just sharpening the sword, not rebuilding it.”

(Picture of Chris Sale: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox’ Chris Sale to make next rehab start for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale will make another rehab start for Triple-A Worcester on Wednesday, manager Alex Cora said at Wrigley Field before Friday’s game against the Cubs.

The WooSox will be hosting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Polar Park that night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. eastern time.

Sale has made three rehab appearances thus far, with his latest coming for Double-A Portland on Thursday. The left-hander allowed just one run on four hits and no walks to go along with seven strikeouts over four innings of work in the Sea Dogs’ 15-4 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field.

Of the 52 pitches Sale threw, 36 went for strikes and 17 were of the swing-and-miss variety. With Elih Marrero doing the catching, he mixed in his two- and four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup while topping out at 96 mph with his heater.

Since beginning his rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League on June 25, Sale has been making his starts on four days of rest. The WooSox, however, are off on Tuesday so Sale will be making his next outing on an additional day of rest.

It remains to be seen if Sale will need one or two more rehab starts before he re-joins the Red Sox. The 33-year-old began the season on the 60-day injured list because of a stress fracture in his right rib cage that he suffered back in February. His throwing program was then slowed for a period of time in May due to a non-baseball health concern related to his family’s medical history.

The Red Sox would like to see Sale get stretched out to five innings before activating him from the injured list. If that happens in Worcester on Wednesday, the seven-time All-Star could be in line to make his 2022 debut when the Sox go up against the Rays in Tampa Bay on July 11.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Katie Morrison/MassLive)

Red Sox’ Chris Sale strikes out 7 in latest rehab start for Double-A Portland

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale took his rehab assignment to Portland, Maine on Thursday night and pitched well in front of a sold-out crowd at Hadlock Field.

In his third rehab start of the month, Sale allowed just one run on four hits and zero walks to go along with seven strikeouts over four solid innings of work in Double-A Portland’s 15-4 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

After retiring six of the first seven batters he faced, Sale issued a leadoff single in the top of the third that was immediately followed by a run-scoring double off the bat of New Hampshire’s Chris Bec. He managed to strand Bec with the help of an inning-ending double play and then struck out the side in his fourth and final frame.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 52 (36 strikes), Sale induced 17 swings-and-misses while mixing in his fastball (both two- and four-seam), slider, and changeup with Elih Marrero doing the catching.

According to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, who was on-hand in Portland, Sale sat between 91-96 mph with his heater and topped out at 96 mph with it on four separate occasions.

This was the third outing of Sale’s rehab assignment but his first at the upper levels of the minor-leagues. The 33-year-old southpaw previously made two starts in the rookie-level Florida Complex League on June 20 and June 25, respectively.

It is believed that Sale will need to make one more rehab start as he continues to work his way back from a stress fracture in his right rib cage that he suffered back in February. He began the season on the 60-day injured list because of it and then had his throwing program paused in May due to a non-baseball health concern related to his family’s medical history.

With the Sea Dogs on the road in Binghamton next week, it seems likely that Sale will make his next start for Triple-A Worcester as the WooSox will be hosting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Polar Park.

If he could get stretched out to five innings in his next minor-league outing, Sale could potentially be in line to join the Red Sox and come off the 60-day injured list before the All-Star break.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Chris Sale strikes out 6 in second start of rehab assignment

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale made the second start of his rehab assignment in the rookie-level Florida Complex League on Saturday morning.

After throwing just one inning in his first rehab outing on Monday, Sale pitched deeper into his start this time around. Matched up against the Twins’ FCL affiliate at JetBlue Park, the veteran southpaw scattered three hits and no walks to go along with six strikeouts over 2 2/3 scoreless innings of work. He also hit one of the 12 batters he faced.

According to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, Sale sat between 92-96 mph with his fastball on Saturday while mixing in a slider in the 91-94 mph range and a changeup in the 85-87 mph range.

Sale will likely need to make two more rehab starts in order to get stretched out to five innings. When speaking with reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) prior to Saturday’s game against the Guardians, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that Sale will throw a bullpen session in Fort Myers and will then make his next start for Double-A Portland.

That will presumably come on Thursday, as Sale will be able to pitch on regular rest while the Sea Dogs host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field. The 33-year-old could then make his fourth rehab start for Triple-A Worcester the following week as the WooSox will be hosting the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Polar Park.

So, in all likelihood, Sale could very well make his 2022 debut for the Red Sox during their penultimate series before the All-Star break against the Rays at Tropicana Field from July 11-14.

There are still a number of hurdles to clear, but Sale’s return would certainly be a welcomed one. The seven-time All-Star began the season on the 60-day injured list due to a right rib stress fracture he sustained in late February. His recovery was then slowed down in May because of a non-baseball health concern related to his family’s medical history.

(Picture of Chris Sale: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)