It's been all downhill for Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox since the left-hander signed his contract extension a year ago.
The Red Sox announced Thursday that Sale will undergo ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John) on his left elbow. The same elbow Sale has had issues with since he was shut down last August.
But even before then, Sale's five-year, $145 million deal seemed regrettable. The 30-year-old has declined in several pitching metrics, including ERA, WHIP, and HR/9, since August 12, 2018.
Here are the numbers from the first 55 starts of Sale's Red Sox career compared to his last 29:
Chris Sale with Red Sox— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) March 2, 2020
First 55 GS vs. Last 29 GS
360.1 IP 159.1
6.55 IP/GS 5.49
2.52 ERA 4.35
0.92 WHIP 1.08
0.85 HR/9 1.41
Going to need Sale version on the left#TheStatsCorner pic.twitter.com/RNgIvXgSX8
On top of that, Sale has regressed in strike percentage (68.4 to 66.3), innings pitched per start (6.55 to 5.49), batting average against (.195 to .223), and OPS against (.569 to .694).
Sale will miss the entirety of the 2020 MLB season if and when it resumes, and he'll likely miss a few months of the 2021 campaign as well.
Without Sale, the Red Sox rotation currently consists of Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez and likely Ryan Weber.