Red Sox manager Alex Cora subtly reacts to Chris Sale’s COVID news
Sale will join a multitude of teammates on the COVID-related Injured List, including fellow pitchers Nick Pivetta, Martín Pérez, Hirokazu Sawamura, and Matt Barnes.
While the Red Sox have not addressed the media since the news broke, manager Alex Cora retweeted this quote about adversity shortly after:
It’s not an official statement, but it certainly is notable. With the team’s COVID outbreak, adversity has been the name of the game for them since the end of August.
The Red Sox have several vaccinated players on the COVID IL
COVID vaccines do not make you immune, but they do mitigate the symptoms and reduce the chance of hospitalization or death. The CDC reports that the three vaccines are 86% effective in preventing hospitalization, while unvaccinated people are eleven times more likely to die of COVID.
The Red Sox are one of six MLB teams that never reached the 85% vaccination threshold. However, numerous Sox players currently on the COVID IL are vaccinated. It is unclear if Sale is one of them.
Sale’s news also comes less than 24 hours after teammate Hunter Renfroe told former Sox player Lou Merloni on his WEEI radio show that MLB had told the Sox to stop testing amidst the outbreak. MLB has refuted his claims, though there is no reason for Renfroe to intentionally lie about something so serious.
Chris Sale has COVID for the second time
This isn’t Sale’s first bout of COVID. He contracted the illness in January. That and a neck injury impacted his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. This time, it will affect his spot in the rotation and the team’s chances of edging out the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Sale made his return from Tommy John two years and one day after his last start in August 2019. Over five starts, he has a 2.52 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 25 innings.
With Sale missing his scheduled start on Saturday against his former team in Chicago, the Red Sox may be forced to use Connor Seabold, who is currently on the taxi squad for the road trip. This would be his big-league debut.
Overall, this is yet another immensely tough break for the Sox. Sale’s presence in the clubhouse has been crucial to firing up a team that has often looked lifeless over the last month.