Chris Sale

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale felt pain after throwing a 15-pitch session on Sunday. AP Photo/John Bazemore

TAMPA, Fla. — Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale underwent an MRI on his pitching elbow after experiencing soreness, interim manager Ron Roenicke said Tuesday.

Sale felt pain after throwing a 15-pitch session against hitters Sunday in Fort Myers. He reported the issue to the team’s training staff Monday and had the MRI at the team’s complex.

“Obviously, we’re concerned about it but until we get the results from the doctors that are reading the MRI, I really don’t have much else to (say),” Roenicke said.

Team doctors reviewed Sale’s medicals and sent them to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second look. Until Andrews reviews the information, the Red Sox will not comment further on Sale’s prognosis.

“Until we have a full picture of what everybody thinks, we don’t really want to get into drips and drabs of info getting out there,” said Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

Sale missed the last six weeks of last season with elbow inflammation but avoided surgery, instead receiving a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection on Aug. 19. At that time, Andrews recommended six weeks of rest for Sale, shutting him down for the rest of the year.


Sale was cleared to resume throwing in early December and progressed through his offseason normally before reporting to camp. A bout with pneumonia delayed Sale’s progress so much that he was expected to begin the season on the injured list as a result of the delay, but the lefty reported no arm issues and immediately felt healthy after facing batters for the first time in six months Sunday.

“Anytime something like this happens, it’s going to make you concerned,” Bloom said. “I also know, in building up when you do hit these milestones, you can get sore. He hasn’t faced hitters in a long time. To speculate too much would be irresponsible. Needless to say, everything has gone so well to this point. This is our first bump in the road. Hopefully, it’s just a bump in the road. You can’t help but have some concern.”

The Red Sox are hopeful that they’ll learn of Dr. Andrews’ findings by the end of the day Tuesday. At that point, they’ll be able to plan the rest of Sale’s spring and assess his medical path forward.

Even before this latest setback, the Sox were prepared to enter the season with two open rotation spots due to the delay caused by Sale’s illness last month. Behind Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez, the Sox are considering a wide variety of internal options to start games or even serve as openers.

The Sox could also look to acquire a pitcher or two from outside the organization. Until more is known about Sale’s prognosis, the club is inclined to prefer its internal options.

“We like a lot of the guys we have, both the guys we had here before and some of the guys we brought in,” Bloom said. “As we get to know them better, there’s a lot we’re learning about them.”

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