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Chris Sale assessments constructive for COVID: How lengthy will he be out and what does it imply for Boston's playoff possibilities?

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The Crimson Sox’ hunt for the postseason has simply taken a heavy hit.

MLB.com reported on Friday that ace Chris Sale, simply 5 begins into his return from Tommy John surgical procedure, examined constructive for the coronavirus. Because of the constructive check, he’ll miss his upcoming begin on Sunday towards the White Sox.

In keeping with The Athletic, Sale is the tenth participant on the workforce to have examined constructive for the coronavirus since final Friday. Two coaches have additionally examined constructive, whereas two gamers and a coach had been deemed shut contacts and have needed to quarantine.

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When will Chris Sale return?

The blow to the Crimson Sox is a significant one as Sale has been dominant since coming back from Tommy John surgical procedure. In 5 begins, he has posted a 2.52 ERA and the workforce has received 4 instances in his outings.

Attributable to MLB’s coronavirus protocols, Sale will likely be pressured to take a seat out for at the least 10 days, which means the following recreation he can be eligible for will likely be Sept. 21 towards the Mets. By the point he returns, the Crimson Sox can have simply 11 video games remaining on their schedule, which might probably restrict him to solely two begins.

Who will change Chris Sale?

Who takes Sale’s place within the rotation stays unsure. Rookie Tanner Houck is slated to begin on Friday. Nick Pivetta, who’s vaccinated, additionally examined constructive for the coronavirus, however might doubtlessly begin on Saturday, in accordance with MLB.com. If Pivetta cannot go, anticipate Connor Seabold to make the beginning. Martin Perez might face a visit to the minors to work his approach again from the COVID-19 checklist when activated, MLB.com reported. Eduardo Rodriguez began on Tuesday and Nathan Eovaldi began on Wednesday, whereas Garrett Richards, a starter who has shifted to the bullpen, pitched in reduction after Eovaldi on Wednesday. No different pitcher has made a number of begins for the Crimson Sox this season.

On high of Pivetta and Perez, a number of different key gamers are out with constructive coronavirus assessments. All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been out since Aug. 31 — although he’s anticipated again shortly — and utility bat Christian Arroyo has been “hit fairly laborious” by his case, Cora instructed MLB.com. All-Star reliever Matt Barnes has additionally missed time, although he’s eligible to return as early as Friday.

The Crimson Sox discover themselves in a precarious place within the Wild Card hunt. Earlier than the beginning of video games on Friday, they at present lead the Yankees over the primary Wild Card by a recreation, however have seen the Blue Jays surge as of late with wins coming in 9 of their previous 10 contests.

Crimson Sox upcoming schedule

Making issues worse is an arduous upcoming schedule throughout Sale’s absense. Boston faces quite a few powerful opponents with a three-game sequence towards the AL Central-leading White Sox beginning on Friday adopted by a three-game sequence with the Mariners beginning on Monday. Seattle is simply two video games again of the Yankees for the second Wild Card and three again of Boston.

When the Crimson Sox went into the All-Star Break on July 12, they led the Rays by 1.5 video games within the AL East with a 55-36 document. Since then, Boston has slid down the standings with a document of 25-26 in its final 51 video games.

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