Sale has no structural damage to his shoulder and should be fully recovered after an offseason of rest, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Sale dealt with tendinitis, which caused him a lot of pain but isn't expected to have lasting effects. That pain was especially serious after he returned from the disabled list for one start in early August, which led to him being placed right back on the DL. The news is undoubtedly a positive for Sale, though it may take some time before confidence in his healthy is fully restored.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Thursday that Sale is unlikely to need surgery on his shoulder this offseason and should be "100 percent" by spring training, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox are hopeful that Sale only requires a little rest in order to completely heal the shoulder injury that bothered him from late July through early September. Even though the left-hander was able to work his way back for the home stretch of the regular season and the playoffs, it was evident that Sale wasn't fully operational. Earlier this week, Boston exercised its club option on Sale for the 2019 season, which was an obvious decision given that he was owed just $15 million for next year.
Sale's club option for 2019 was picked up by the Red Sox on Tuesday, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe reports. This comes as no surprise, as Sale will only be due $15 million in 2019. The southpaw turned in another stellar season for the 2018 World Series champions, posting a 2.11 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 13.5 K/9 across 27 starts (158 innings).
Sale will not start Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers on Sunday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Sale was the announced starter before Game 4's victory, but manager Alex Cora opted to switch his starter following the win. The skipper cited that he liked David Price more at Dodger Stadium, so he will be the one taking the hill to start Sunday. Sale will be available out of the bullpen, however, so there's a chance he could throw some high-leverage innings if it means bringing a title home to Boston. However, if he goes unused and the Red Sox lose, there's a good chance Sale would start Game 6 back at home.
Sale will start Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Manager Alex Cora confirmed the assignment and stated that his top pitcher wouldn't be available in Game 4, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. As things stand now, the Boston ace would line up to face Clayton Kershaw. Sale only got through four innings in his first start of the World Series, allowing three runs on five hits.