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Chris Sale exits spring start early after being struck with a line drive

Everything is dumb and also bad

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox didn’t need this. In what was lined up to be his final start of the spring before heading out to the mound on Opening Day, Chris Sale had to leave early because of injury. In the first inning of Saturday afternoon’s game against the Astros, J.D. Davis hit a line drive right back to the mound that struck the Red Sox ace in the hip. The ball hit Sale as the lefty was finishing his follow through and caused him to immediately fall to the ground. He came up limping, forcing Alex Cora and the training staff to head to the mound. After a couple minutes of deliberation, Sale was removed from the game. The good news is that he walked off on his own and it didn’t appear he had a significant limp on his way back to the dugout. You can see video of the play here.

Not long after he was removed from the game, it came out that the team is calling Sale’s injury a hip contusion. As of this writing, we don’t have much more information or any indication if this will cause him to miss any regular season starts. The Red Sox, obviously, are hoping he won’t have to. Sale is, of course, the team’s ace and losing him in any circumstance would be a massive loss. It would be made even worse by the fact that Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz are both dealing with injuries, as is Steven Wright who also has a 15-game suspension facing him. Sale is slated to start Thursday afternoon in Tampa Bay for the season opener. We’ll have more details about the injury and any potential time to be missed when more information is made available.

Ban spring training.

UPDATE: Chris Sale said he “absolutely” expects to make his start on Thursday.