The Boston Red Sox may not have gotten the help they needed at the MLB trade deadline, but reinforcements are still on the way.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale is set to make his first start in two years Saturday when he takes the mound against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
While Sale has looked strong in several rehab outings since returning from March 2020 Tommy John surgery, it might take him some time to return to ace form. But if you ask fellow starter Nathan Eovaldi, Sale's presence alone should give the struggling Red Sox a shot in the arm.
"Honestly, I could care less if he gives up 10 or (throws) a shutout the entire game," Eovaldi said Wednesday night, via MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. "It’s going to be great to have him out there."
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts struck a similar note after Wednesday's much-needed 20-8 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Rays, which halted a 2-10 slide.
"Help is on its way," Bogaerts said. " ... It’s going to be fun when he gets on the mound.
"... He’s a warrior, man. He’s obviously one of the warriors on this team. Whenever he goes out there, he gives it all that he has."
The Red Sox could use the All-Star version of Sale to shore up a pitching staff that's slipped to 15th in the major leagues in team ERA after a strong start.
Even if Sale has some rust to shake off, though, his return symbolizes a lifeline for a team that's been in an extended free-fall (3-10 in their last 13 games) since the trade deadline.
Red Sox players may have been demoralized after watching their American League East contenders acquire key pieces -- Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo for New York, Nelson Cruz for Tampa Bay and Jose Berrios for Toronto -- while their team added an injured Kyle Schwarber and two middling relievers.
But with Sale set to return and Schwarber not too far behind him, perhaps Boston can rediscover the mojo that propelled this team to the top of the AL earlier this season.