Chris Sale understands that this is a perfect time for the Boston Red Sox to be cautious with their troubled shoulder.
He is simply frustrated because he has returned to the disabled list.
Boston returned the left-handed ace to the 10-day disabled list on Saturday after a healthy start. Sale was on the disabled list earlier this month with what the team called mild shoulder swelling.
Last Sunday, he activated against the Baltimore Orioles and struck out 12 in five shutout innings, which extended his inning streak without allowing runs to 28. He is 12-4 with an AL 1.97 ERA and 6 -0 with a 0.20 ERA in his last seven starts.
"It's definitely less than it was the last time," he said as he stood in the middle of the clubhouse before Boston's scheduled game against Tampa Bay. "He didn't recover, he really wasn't responding the way we wanted. Given the kind of place we found ourselves in, it was kind of the right call to get some rest and stay on top. You don't want to be playing catch-up for a time like this. "
With Boston holding a big lead in the American League East and the best major league record, Sale will rest what the team hopes will be a long postseason run.
"Obviously, it's a terrible time, not exactly the most ideal situation. To be honest, pretty miserable for me. But at the same time, I'm not going to just sit around and pout," he said. "I'm going to keep my chin up. I'm in the best team the planet has ever stepped on. I have good teammates behind me, and I appreciate that."
Manager Alex Cora said the team was not willing to take any risks.
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"I think it is a smart move," he said. "This guy is very important to what we're trying to accomplish, and if he needs to skip one, two, three [starts], whatever, we're willing to do it. He'll come back. As he said, he feels better than last time that we put him on the disabled list, so he will rest, he will receive treatment and we will go from there. "
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