The Boston Red Sox are scuffling to start the season, and Chris Sale's struggles have been part of the problem. The team has yet to diagnose the issue, but the ace left-hander let his manager know that something doesn't feel right.
"He's been telling me his windup is off. You know, like, he feels out of whack," Red Sox skipper Alex Cora said Friday on MLB Network Radio. "Hands one way, legs another way. No balance."
Through three starts, the 30-year-old has posted a 9.00 ERA and 7.25 FIP, giving up four home runs over 13 innings.
"I feel like mechanics-wise he's not there yet," Cora added. "He's working in between starts to try and get there. But as soon as he gets it, you're going to start seeing him dominate. It's not about the fastball. For me, it's more about the slider. We feel like it's the best in baseball and right now he's very inconsistent."
After Sale's second start of the campaign, Cora admitted the pitcher was dealing with an illness, to which he attributed Sale's early-season dip in velocity. While his velocity improved somewhat for his third start in the team's home opener, the lefty allowed five earned runs on seven hits over four innings.
Prior to the season getting underway, Sale and the Red Sox agreed to a five-year, $145-million extension. The seven-time All-Star would have been in line to test free agency this winter.