Sunday, August 14, 2022

Chris Sale injury update: Red Sox breaks pinkie finger after being struck by comeback liner vs. Yankees

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The Boston Red Sox appeared to suffer a major blow against the New York Yankees on Sunday (BOS-NYY GameTracker) when ace lefty Chris Sale was forced to exit his start because of an injury to his pitching hand. Sale suffered the injury in the bottom of the first when a line drive off the bat of Aaron Hicks struck him on the hand, and the Red Sox later announced the injury as a left fifth finger fracture, or pinkie fracture. 

Here’s a look at the play: 

As you can see, Sale immediately walked off the field, and his left pinkie finger appeared to be misshapen. Given that the injury is to his pitching hand, he’s likely bound for the injured list and a significant recovery period. 

This was just Sale’s second start of the 2022 season. He returned from a stress fracture in his rib cage, which he suffered late in spring training on July 12. On Sunday, Sale, who was replaced by Hirokazu Sawamura following the injury, allowed three runs (two earned) in just 2/3 of an inning. The outcome raised Sale’s ERA after two starts to 3.18. The 33-year-old is in the third year of a five-year, $145 million pact with Boston. 

The struggling Red Sox, who came into Sunday’s rubber match having lost five of their last six and nine of their last 12, are already afflicted by injury problems in the rotation. At present, five starting pitchers — Rich Hill, Connor Seabold, Michael Wacha, Josh Winckowski and James Paxton — are on the IL for Boston. The injury to Sale will presumably hasten the front office’s effort to acquire rotation help leading up to the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but ownership’s commitment to investing in the roster has been lacking for some time. 

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