This is frustrating for Sale who ended last season on the injured list due to elbow inflammation, with his last start in the majors coming on August 13th of last year. That was one to forget against the Cleveland Indians, as the former Chicago White Sox hurler allowed five runs, but did get 12 strikeouts over 6.2 innings.
Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke confirmed that this stint on the IL has nothing to do with his elbow, but they just wanted to take their time and allow Sale to fully recover from his illness. He is expected to throw live batting practice on Saturday, and is still expected to make his scheduled six Spring Training starts before joining the big league team. This extra rest could work out in Sale's favor, as the former Cy Young Award winner went just 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA over 25 starts in 2019, which was the fewest amount of starts for him since 2012. The Red Sox open the season on March 26th against the Toronto Blue Jays, but Sale won't be eligible to be activated until April 7th against the Tampa Bay Rays.