Red Sox ace Sale to start MLB season on IR

Omnisport

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale will miss MLB's Opening Day after being placed on the 15-day injured list.

Sale – a seven-time All-Star and World Series winner – is building up his fitness after suffering from the flu and pneumonia prior to spring training camp with the Red Sox.

The Red Sox will open their season against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 26.

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"Nothing at all with the arm," said interim manager Ron Roenicke, who stepped in for Alex Cora after the sign-stealing scandal.

"He's doing really good. We're really happy with where he's at. This is strictly for missing two weeks and then only being able to give him four starts in Spring Training."

Roenicke added: "With the sickness, it cost him two weeks' time and that two weeks is what we'd like to give him to make sure he’s right.

"He's worked hard on getting his arm right. We didn't think four starts in Spring Training was fair to him to make him start the season. He'll open up on the [IL]."

Sale, who hurt his left elbow late last season, made 25 appearances in 2019 – tallying 218 strikeouts and six wins.

The 30-year-old has 2,007 strikeouts in 312 career games since making his debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2010.

"I mean, [my target date] was March 26," said Sale. "Especially given what happened last year and going through this offseason, that was my goal. I wanted to be there. I've let other people do my job and pick up my slack for long enough."

"It was a gut punch," Sale continued. "When we were in that meeting, I said the only thing this hurts is my ego, and that doesn't matter. How can you argue with them just trying to take care of me and do what's best, not only for myself, but for the organisation and the team moving forward?

"They had great points and I didn't. I respect that. Like I said, I respect everybody in that room and the decision was made and you move forward."

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