Red Sox’s Sale to undergo Tommy John surgery

Boston Red Sox left hander Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery, Chaim Bloom, the team’s chief baseball officer, announced Thursday.

The surgery will keep Sale from pitching this season, the start of which is being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Recovery from the surgery usually takes at least a year.

Sale, 30, experienced elbow soreness during spring training after his first time facing live batters on March 1 and was shut down.

Sale underwent an MRI on March 3, with the results examined by Red Sox doctors along with renowned surgeons Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Manager Ron Roenicke said March 5 that neither Andrews nor ElAttrache recommended surgery for Sale’s elbow.

“Doctors have advised him to wait another week before he starts throwing again,” Roenicke said. “He’ll start playing catch again. If everything is good, we’ll progress.”

Sale is entering the first year of a five-year deal worth $145 million.

Sale went on the Injured List on Aug. 17 last season with elbow inflammation and missed the remainder of the season.

The seven-time All-Star last faced hitters on Aug. 13, ending his worst season at 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts.

Surgery was not recommended last August, with Sale receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in an attempt to heal his elbow.

After allowing 17 earned runs over his first four starts last season, he pitched to a 3.83 ERA in his final 21 starts before being shut down, holding opponents to a .207 batting average.

Sale, a seven-time All-Star is 109-73 with a 3.03 career ERA in 312 appearances, including 232 starts. Sale has struck out 30.7 percent of batters faced, the highest rate in the Live Ball Era (min. 1,000.0 IP).