The Red Sox are over a 3rd of the way through the season, and still have not found a reliable closer to this point, but help may be on the way soon.
Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Chris Sale could return as a reliever.
“We have to get to a point where he’s facing hitters in a live game situation before we really look at that too much,” Bush said. “That being said, I think everything is on the table at this point. If it suits him and us for him to come back sooner and in fewer innings and we have a bullpen that’s capable of absorbing the extra innings, then maybe that’s an option.” Sale is facing hitters Friday for the first time since he suffered a stress fracture in his rib cage three months ago, so there’s still time before the Red Sox need to make a decision about this.
With the way the Red Sox starting pitching is looking lately, this isn’t the worst idea I have heard. Instead of rushing Sale back to quickly, he could be used as a late inning weapon without risking a lot of wear and tear until he is completely healthy.
While this is far from a guarantee, Sale would offer the Sox some stability in the back of the bullpen, something they have struggled mightily to find to this point. This could preserve Sale longer, even if this was only for the rest of the season.
Chris Sale strikes out the side in the bottom of the 9th to clinch the 2018 World Series (October, 2018):pic.twitter.com/Unxxl4E8t8
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) April 12, 2020