The Red Sox announced Tuesday that lefty Chris Sale suffered a fractured right wrist “during a bicycle accident on Saturday, August 6.” The injury required surgery that will end Sale’s 2022 season. He’s expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training.
It’s the latest setback in a mounting pile of injuries for Sale, who has made just 11 starts while playing under the five-year, $145MM contract extension he signed back in March 2019. (The contract began with the 2020 season despite being signed in 2019, as Sale was already under contract for the ’19 season.) Since putting pen to paper on that contract, Sale has missed time with elbow inflammation that eventually culminated in Tommy John surgery, plus a stress reaction in his rib cage and a fractured pinkie finger incurred on a comebacker earlier this summer. Overall, he’s pitched just 48 1/3 innings in the regular season through the contract’s first three years (plus another nine frames in the 2021 postseason).
A healthy Sale is, of course, one of the sport’s most dominant talents. From 2012-18, Sale made seven consecutive All-Star Games and never finished lower than sixth in American League Cy Young voting. Along the way, he pitched to a collective 2.91 ERA in 1388 innings, averaging 30 starts and 198 frames per regular season (plus another 25 postseason innings with Boston). Sale came on in relief and punched out Justin Turner, future teammate Enrique Hernandez and Manny Machado in order to close out Boston’s 2018 World Series victory over the Dodgers, capping off the franchise’s fourth championship since the “curse-breaking” 2004 season.
It’s been mostly downhill for Sale since, as he’s battled fluke injuries and taken some deserved flak for being caught on film destroying a clubhouse television after getting an early hook during a Triple-A rehab game earlier this summer. This latest injury will bring Sale’s 2022 campaign to a close after just 5 2/3 innings.