It’s a move that solidified the Braves rotation for not just this year, but next year as well after he agreed to a two-year extension following the trade. Injuries have plagued Sale for years, which is why he hasn’t made an All-Star team since 2018, but the Braves are going to expect something a little different than his former team. They don’t need him to carry the rotation. They have Max Fried, Charlie Morton, and Spencer Strider for that. They just need him to go out every five days and give the team 5-6 innings of his best stuff. The depth of the Braves pitching staff will ease a lot of the pressure that he had to face when he was an ace in Boston and Chicago.
When asked about being a “fourth starter” now in Atlanta on Foul Territory, Sale had a hilarious response.
“I can go out and suck and nobody is going to hate me now.”
Chris Sale may begin the season in Atlanta as the Braves fourth starter, but he has the potential to be so much more if his health cooperates. When healthy, Sale is still one of the best pitchers in baseball, capable of racking up strikeouts in bunches. His Baseball Savant page is a sea of red, and even in a “down” year for the Red Sox last season, he racked up 2.1 fWAR in just over 100 innings while striking out nearly 30% of the batters he faced.
There’s no question Sale still has some years left in him where he could be an All-Star caliber pitcher, especially now that he’s fully healthy entering the offseason for the first time in several years. Don’t be surprised if he’s much more than just the Braves “fourth starter” by the time October rolls around.
Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire