Red Sox

Report: Ex-Red Sox infield prospect converts to pitcher, hits 100 mph

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Report: Ex-Red Sox infield prospect converts to pitcher, hits 100 mph

The Boston Red Sox dealt a handful of top prospects to the San Diego Padres for closer Craig Kimbrel in 2015.

Apparently the Padres are trying to remake one of those prospects into Kimbrel.

San Diego is converting 23-year-old shortstop prospect Javier Guerra into a pitcher, the Padres blog MadFriars.com reported Monday. Baseball America's Kyle Glaser confirmed that report, noting Guerra hit 100 mph several times in his first bullpen session.

Guerra, a Panama native, signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2012 and rose quickly through their farm system as a shortstop, earning SoxProspects.com's "Breakout Player of the Year" award in 2015 after a strong campaign with the Class A Greenville Drive.

That November, Boston sent Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, Manuel Margot, and Logan Allen to the Padres in a blockbuster deal for Kimbrel.

Guerra never could get his bat going in San Diego, hitting .223 in 122 Triple-A games last season and going 2-for-16 in 13 games at the major league level. But the 5-foot-11, 155-pound shortstop displayed a rocket arm on defense, which apparently convinced the Padres he could help them on the mound rather than at the plate.

It's a pretty drastic measure, and also a reminder the Kimbrel deal worked out pretty well for Boston. Margot is the only prospect in the deal who's seen regular action for the Padres and hit just .245 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs last season as their starting center fielder.

Kimbrel? While occasionally inconsistent, the All-Star closer racked up 108 saves over three solid seasons for the Sox and helped deliver them a World Series title in 2018. 

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Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

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Chaim Bloom estimates when Chris Sale could return from Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale turned 31 on Monday. He also had Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow on that same day. The procedure will sideline him for at least the rest of the 2020 season and beyond. 

But when exactly can we expect Sale back? Boston Red Sox chief of baseball operations, Chaim Bloom, wouldn't confirm to an exact date, but he did provide some insight into how long Sale might be sidelined.

"We don't know exactly," Bloom said, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. "Typically you see around that 14-15 month range."

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Okay, so maybe that's not the most specific answer, but it at least gives us a ballpark idea of when Sale could return.

A 14-15 month recovery period would have Sale return sometime between early June and early July in 2021, if his recovery goes well. Of course, there are so many variables to take into account about how Sale may be progressing but also about how the Sox may be faring. If they aren't doing well, the team could take an extremely cautious approach with Sale in hopes of having him fully healthy for the 2022 season.

But Bloom's estimate at least gives Sox fans an initial target for Sale's potential return. The target date will certainly be fluid especially considering that some pitchers take 18 months to return from the surgery.

But no matter what, Sale won't be suiting up for the Red Sox until mid-2021 at the earliest. And that's bad news for the squad considering their lack of starting pitching depth.

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

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File Photo

Red Sox ace Chris Sale officially undergoes Tommy John surgery

Chris Sale's long road to recovery from a pesky elbow injury began on Monday.

The Boston Red Sox officially announced that Sale underwent Tommy John surgery on Monday to reconstruct the UCL in his throwing arm. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery.

The Red Sox and Sale decided that he would need to have the surgery about a week and a half ago. The coronavirus crisis made it a bit uncertain as to when Sale would be able to have the procedure done, but now, it is in the books.

Sale won't pitch at all in 2020 and it's likely that he will miss time in 2021 as well. In fact, he could miss that whole season given that a typical recovery from Tommy John surgery takes about 18 months.

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Either way, the Red Sox will be without Sale long-term and as a result, their starting rotation looks very thin. Eduardo Rodgriguez will slot in as the team's ace while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are the Nos. 2 and 3 starters respectively.

The other two rotation spots are up for grabs but before the league was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was assumed that Ryan Weber had the inside track for the fourth starter position. The fifth starter role was much less settled and the team may have used an opener strategy given their lack of starting pitching depth.

Without Sale, the Red Sox will likely have to rely a lot on their offense to carry them to victory moving forward. But we won't get a chance to see how they look until the MLB returns. And at this point in time, it's unclear when that may be.