Red Sox

Sale delivers confident message about Red Sox pitching staff

Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox starting rotation is filled with question marks heading into the 2023 season.

Chris Sale has been plagued by injuries since 2019. Corey Kluber turns 37 in April and has had nagging injuries of his own in recent years. Garrett Whitlock is a reliever converting to a starter. Brayan Bello is entering his first full MLB season. James Paxton has only pitched 1 1/3 innings since 2020 due to Tommy John surgery and a lat tear.

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It's a pitching staff filled with "what ifs." The biggest one: what if the group stays healthy? Is that a starting rotation capable of competing?

"No question. No question," Sale told reporters Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla. "I was with Paxton a lot last year obviously rehabbing, coming back, and he works hard. And when he's at his best, watch out. Kluber's got a trophy case for anybody. I'm not going to sit here and talk about myself, but I know what I can do too.

"Not only that, we've got a bunch of guys on that pitching staff top to bottom. Bullpen, starting staff. We're here to make some noise. Say what you want, but I like where we're at."

Sale's confidence is refreshing given the pessimism surrounding the team heading into the new season. However, it's understandable that fans are hesitant to get their hopes up. Sale returned from a rib fracture and made two appearances last year before suffering a broken pinky and a season-ending broken wrist. Until he and the rest of the staff proves they can last a full season, there will be no shortage of doubters.


As of Wednesday, Sale is on track to be the Red Sox' Opening Day starter when they host the Baltimore Orioles on March 30.