Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who missed the final 6 1/2 weeks of the season because of left elbow inflammation, continues to take a slow approach to his rehab.

Eddie Romero, one of the Red Sox’s four interim GMs, was asked whether Sale had visited Dr. James Andrews for his follow-up appointment; and if so, if Sale had started throwing.

“We don’t have an update since the press conference (Sept. 30),” Romero replied in an email. “Chris is doing very well in Ft Myers.”

The Red Sox held their 2019 season wrap-up press conference Sept. 30, six weeks after Sale’s initial visit with Dr. Andrews. At that point, the Red Sox had not scheduled a follow-up appointment and Sale hadn’t begun throwing, but co-interim GM Brian O’Halloran said he expected the lefty to be healthy entering spring training 2020.

Sale initially visited Dr. Andrews and underwent a PRP injection Aug. 19. A press release from the Red Sox on that day said Dr. Andrews “recommended a period of shutdown from throwing” and Sale would “be re-evaluated in six weeks by Dr. Andrews.”

O’Halloran already acknowledged the Red Sox were taking Sale’s rehab slow.

“There was a range on when that (throwing) could begin and we’re taking that a little bit slower than we initially anticipated just to be certain,” O’Halloran said Sept. 30. “Once he was totally shut down, we took a close look at his schedule and our medical staff recommended that we take it slowly just to give him as much time as possible to heal before he started throwing. But that will happen sometime in the near future.”

Sale went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 25 starts (147 1/3 innings) in 2019.

Shoulder inflammation limited him to 158 innings in 2018, including 29 innings during the second half. But then-president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski signed him to a five-year, $145-million extension during spring training 2019.

He never hd posted over a 3.41 ERA in any season until this year. His seven-year streak of consecutive All-Star selections also ended. His seven-year streak of finishing in the top six in the American League Cy Young voting also will come to an end.

ANGELS: Joe Maddon has agreed to become manager.

Maddon and the Angels agreed to terms on a deal to reunite the veteran manager with the organization where he spent the first three decades of his baseball career.

Maddon left the Chicago Cubs by mutual consent last month after they missed the playoffs for the first time in his five-year tenure. In 2016, he led the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.

Maddon replaces Brad Ausmus, who was fired after one season when the Angels finished with their worst record since 1999.

Maddon was the Angels’ bench coach during their championship season in 2002. He left to manage Tampa Bay in 2006.

AUCTION: The bat used by Babe Ruth to slug his 500th career home run in 1929 is going up for auction, nearly 75 years after he gave it to a friend whose family has kept it ever since.

Ruth became the first player to reach the coveted plateau on Aug. 11, 1929, hitting a solo shot for the New York Yankees off Willis Hudlin at League Park in Cleveland.

In the mid-1940s, Ruth gave the bat to his friend Jim Rice, who was mayor of Suffern, New York. Ruth and Rice enjoyed golfing, bowling and dining together, and Ruth was a regular visitor to the Rice household, where he came to know Jim’s wife, Ethyl, and their children. Rice once beat Ruth in five straight games of bowling.

Terry Rice, an attorney in Suffern and Jim’s only son, is selling the bat. Born two years after Ruth died in 1948, Rice more closely associates Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra with the Yankees of his youth, but he remembers Ruth’s bat sat in the corner behind the television in the family’s den.

“It was always there. It was part of life,” Rice told The Associated Press by phone on Wednesday. “No one said I couldn’t touch it. I never took it out and played baseball with it.”

Good thing, too, since the bat was recently authenticated and received the highest grade given.

“For an inanimate object, it’s beautiful,” Rice said. “It’s in perfect condition.”

The Louisville Slugger shows marks on the upper barrel where Ruth knocked mud off his cleats. The left barrel has impressions where the bat made contact with the ball. There’s also a bit of green paint from where the bat rested in the dugout between uses.

“Babe Ruth is the king of the sports collectibles marketplace,” SCP Auctions President David Kohler said. “When a fresh Ruth item of such quality and historical importance as this one surfaces, it generates tremendous excitement throughout our industry.”

Ruth’s 500th homer cleared the right field wall in Cleveland, sailed out of the park and rolled down Lexington Avenue where it was plucked by an Indians fan. After the game, the ball was returned to Ruth in exchange for $20 and his autograph.

It would be another 16 years before Mel Ott became the second player to reach 500 homers in 1945.

After Jim Rice died in 1983, his wife kept possession of the bat until her death in 1997. Then it passed to Terry Rice and was stashed in a closet.

“You couldn’t leave it out,” Rice said. “I wasn’t enjoying it. I got to the point where we were worried about it.”

Rice, 69, talked to his two older sisters before deciding to sell. They plan to split the proceeds.

Officials from SCP Auctions in Laguna Niguel, California, estimate the bat could sell for over $1 million.

SCP sold Ruth’s bat used to homer on opening day of the 1923 season at Yankee Stadium for $1.26 million in 2004.

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