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‘Good luck’ Boston Red Sox Chris Sale to pitch to live batters midweek; “It’s a big step for us”

OAKLAND, Calif. — Red Sox starter Chris Sale kicked off a 25-pitch bullpen session in Fort Myers on Saturday morning.

“Everything went well,” said manager Alex Cora.

Head athletic trainer Brad Pearson will fly to Fort Myers on Sunday. He will meet with Sale on Monday to work out a plan for the week ahead.

“There’s a good chance he’ll face live hitters in the middle of next week,” Cora said. “So it’s a big step for us.”

Cora said that generally a pitcher has to pitch two mock games (live batting practices) before going to rehab.

“He feels really good,” Cora said. “Every time I text him, if it’s up to him, he starts tomorrow in Oakland. But we are smarter than that. And he knows it too. So keep building it and whenever it’s ready, it’s ready. But knowing that he will be part of it. And like I said last year, there’s only one team that can say they’re going to add Chris Sale to the rotation and that’s us. Don’t put too much pressure on him because he understands how it works, but he’s going to be a huge addition to this baseball club.

Sale started the 60-Day IL season after suffering a stress fracture in his right rib cage. He then suspended his throwing program for a short while last month due to a “little personal medical issue”.

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