We learned last night that, after requesting a third opinion on the MRI of Chris Sale’s elbow, he would avoid surgery “at this point.” The “at this point” certainly left a lot of questions up in the air overnight as we waited more official word from the team and the pitcher himself. We got that this morning. What we know now is that he has a flexor strain, he is going to wait a week to throw again, he will participate in non-throwing drills with the pitchers, and that none of the doctors recommended surgery.
Roenicke:— Guerin Austin (@guerinaustin) March 5, 2020
Sale has a flexor strain
-he will wait a week and start throwing again
-will start over with bullpens and they will see where he’s at
-hopeful this is just a setback
-all doctors agreed on this course of action, no one recommended surgery
This qualifies, I think, as good news, but also not the kind of news that is going to create widespread celebration. Sale is in the clear for now, but it’s been acknowledged that things could change as quickly as a week from now. Sale spoke to the media on Thursday and said, frankly, that this situation sucks. He seems legitimately distraught over this entire situation, which of course dates back to last year. The lefty also admitted that he can’t survive pitching at less than 100 percent, so if he still doesn’t feel totally right they may change course.
I think through all of this, as I said last night, from the outside you have to just defer to what the doctors are saying. All of the doctors, at least according to Sale, recommended to stay away from surgery for right now. It’s hard to fault the player or the team for not wanting to go away from that recommendation. All of that said, this still just results in a longer waiting game. We’ll see what happens next week when Sale throws his next bullpen. Hopefully everything will be fine and he’ll be ready to roll as we get closer to May, but obviously at this point it’s all totally up in the air.