March 24, 2018

Sale Pulled After Being Hit On Left Hip By Line Drive, Still Expects To Open Season On Thursday

Chris Sale faced only four batters in his final start of the spring. He was taken out of Saturday's game against the Astros in the top of the first inning when a line drive from J.D. Davis drilled him in the left hip.

Sale said he will pitch on Opening Day next Thursday, as scheduled:
Looked a lot worse than it really is. ... When it first hit me, it kind of got me in the hip, but got the nerve, [the iliotibial]. So it shot all the way down to my foot. So that's what kind of made me worried. I was telling them when I was out there, "Give me a minute. It'll come back. I'll be fine." They didn't want to wait, so [I] came in here, got it evaluated, looked at, figured out [it was] nothing serious, just a bruise. It kind of just shocked me more than anything, that initial blow.
Sale retired the first two batters before walking Alex Bregman and giving up a painful single to Davis. Sale was expecting to pitch about six innings today, but threw only 26 pitches. When Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who suffered a fractured finger on his pitching hand from a line drive on Friday, was mentioned, Sale said:
Yeah, that's another reason we're thankful it hit me where it did. I don't have a whole lot of padding anywhere on me, but if I'm going to get hit, somewhere in the hip or the butt's going to be the place to go. Better than a rib, arm, hand, even the face. So this was best-case scenario.
The Red Sox beat the Astros 6-0, the team's second consecutive shutout. The team has three more games before the regular season begins (Twins on Sunday; Cubs on Monday and Tuesday).

Also: Christian Vazquez signed a three-year contract extension through 2021, with a club option for 2022. He will make $1.425 million this season, with the extension providing increases to $2.85 in 2019, $4.2 in 2020, and $6.25 in 2021. The team option for 2022 is $7 (or $8 if he has 502 PAs in both 2020 and 2021).

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