April 13, 2024

Chris Sale was brutally honest about his thinking after a successful spring training as he prepares for his debut season with the Braves.
This past offseason, the Atlanta Braves acquired seven-time All-Star Chris Sale from the Boston Red Sox via trade. Given Sale’s injury history, it was a risky transaction. When healthy, however, Sale is one of the best pitchers in the game.

And Sale is expected to start the 2024 season healthy. The 34-year-old made his final spring training start on Monday and shared his thoughts on his debut year with Atlanta.

“When you get to the top of the mountain and get knocked down, it’s a tough pill to swallow,” Sale told Mark Bowman of MLB.com. “I respect the game and enjoy the process a little more because of where I am, what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with. This game does not last forever.

“This game has given me both the best and worst times of my life. Being able to balance it out, take it all in, and respect it as a whole makes it more enjoyable when viewed through that lens.

Sale later stated that he is “strong” right now, which is very promising for the Braves. Some in the MLB world were surprised by Atlanta’s choice to purchase a former great who appeared to be deteriorating, but the team clearly believes in Sale.

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Sale hasn’t made an All-Star squad since 2018. He was instrumental in the Red Sox’s World Series victory in 2018, but he has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since then.

Sale’s time with the Red Sox began on a positive note. However, he does not consider it a complete success.

“In my mind, no. “It (Sale’s time in Boston) was not (a success) for a couple of reasons,” Sale told Foul Territory in January when asked if his time with the Red Sox was successful. “I only had one complete, healthy season there. I spent seven years there. Boston was where I had my most successful baseball years. However, the worst years of my career occurred in Boston.

“If those worst years hadn’t been so pricey… It’s a stomach punch. It’s not something I’ll be able to look back on and recall fondly my life.”

He hopes for a more successful overall Braves tenure. And it will begin with avoiding injuries, which he has done with Atlanta thus far. Of course, the season is long, so Sale will do everything he can to stay on the field.
Chris Sale hasn’t made 25 or more starts in a season since 2019. Nonetheless, he has the potential to demolish the competition when he is on his game.

Spring training statistics might be misleading, but Sale pitched to a 3.07 ERA in five games. He threw 23 strikeouts. Sale had a fantastic spring because he stayed healthy and performed effectively.

Now we’ll see if he can repeat his success with the Braves in 2024.

 

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