BOSTON — Red Sox ace Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery, meaning he won’t have a 2020 season, the club announced on Thursday.
Sale had been in limbo the last couple of weeks after experiencing discomfort in the left elbow that forced him to miss the final six weeks of last season.
On March 5, the Red Sox and Sale announced that the pitcher had a strained flexor tendon.
The hope at the time was that brief period of no throwing and some anti-inflammatories would help the elbow settle down to the point Sale would be able to ramp back up.
But after recently initiating a throwing program, Sale’s elbow obviously didn’t respond the way he had hoped.
The MLB season was supposed to start on March 26, but it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When the Red Sox do start up, their rotation will have Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Martín Pérez, followed by uncertainty in the final two spots of the rotation.
Before Spring Training was shut down last week, interim manager Ron Roenicke appeared to be leaning towards using an opener — at least in the No. 5 spot.
The loss of Sale is crushing to the Red Sox. This season is the start of a five-year, $145 million contract that Sale signed a year ago.