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Red Sox ace Chris Sale to undergo Tommy John surgery

The Red Sox pitching rotation takes a big blow with loss of Chris Sale.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Fenway Park. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will have Tommy John surgery after unsuccessfully trying to rehab, according to the team’s Twitter announcement. Sale was shut down with a flexor strain a little over two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, Sale resumed throwing to see if he would require surgery, according to the Boston Globe. Now, it appears that throwing session didn’t go well and his surgery will result in a 12 to 15 month long recovery.

Sale had a down 2019 campaign and then missed time due to elbow inflammation. Dr. James Andrews decided he didn’t need surgery and gave him a platelet-rich plasma injection, shutting him down for 60 days to end his season. In retrospect, surgery would have been the right move at that point, but going the non-invasive route is always a good first resort.

Sale’s 2019 season was full of ups and downs, as he finished with a 4.40 ERA and 218/37 K/BB ratio over 147 1/3 innings through 25 starts. Results from Tommy John surgery vary widely, but there are more success stories than not. Often a pitcher must change their approach after surgery to continue being successful, but success is a strong possibility.

The Red Sox pitching took a nose-dive last season with Sale not living up to his usual play, as his fastball wasn’t hitting his usual velocity. Eduardo Rodriguez was a bright spot, but injuries hurt the staff as a whole, sinking the team’s postseason chances. The Red Sox needed Sale to have a bounce back season, and that isn’t happening now.