Boston Red Sox: Chris Sale set to return on Saturday

Left-hander Chris Sale points the way to a WooSox victory Saturday over the Buffalo Bisons.LEDE1
Left-hander Chris Sale points the way to a WooSox victory Saturday over the Buffalo Bisons.LEDE1 /

The Boston Red Sox are essentially landing a major trade deadline acquisition two weeks after the deadline passed.

According to reports, Chris Sale is finally set to return to the Red Sox rotation. He is slated to be activated on Saturday, facing the Orioles almost exactly two years since his previous major league outing.

Boston Red Sox set to get needed boost with Chris Sale

Sale had breezed through the minors in his rehab appearances, showing life on his fastball and his typically excellent slider. While he had his moments where he needed to dial back the velocity and had to work out of jams, those were the types of situations he needed to go through as well. With those moments, Sale felt that he was finally back as a pitcher.

More Red Sox. Sale's return could be a difference maker. light

His final rehab outing was not exactly perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. He threw 89 pitches over his 4.2 innings, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. Sale’s command had been a touch bit shaky in Triple-A, with four walks over his 9.2 innings, but he also struck out 15 batters.

Even if Sale is not quite the pitcher he was during his heyday, he is a clear upgrade over the arms that the Red Sox have been sending to the mound. Between Garrett Richards and Martin Perez, the back of the rotation has been a giant question mark. Sale should be far better than either of those options.

His return also allows the rotation to get back to its normal setting. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi will not be counted on to be the aces of the staff any longer as Sale will be able to pick up that mantle. His presence alone should help inspire far more confidence for the pitching staff, and the team as a whole.

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Chris Sale is slated to return to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. His return to the rotation cannot come soon enough.