How the White Sox inadvertently added insult to (Chris Sale's) injury Thursday

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By WEEI 93.7

The prognosis regarding Chris Sale's injured elbow is still incomplete. The Red Sox are going to wait about a week and then figure things out from there.

Despite the fact there are no immediate plans for surgery, the tone Thursday was rather ominous with Sale admitting he is at a fork in the road when it comes to either continue to pitch or taking the surgical route. It was an uncomfortable day for the pitcher and the organization to be sure.

Sale discusses injury. pic.twitter.com/RZCFuXA2N0

— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) March 5, 2020

And then there was the news from the White Sox.

First came the email from BetOnline.com ranking the favorites to win Rookie of the Year. Sitting atop the American League group? Michael Kopech. (For your betting pleasure, he is starting the season at 3-to-1.)

Kopech is, of course, one of the two centerpieces in the trade that brought Sale to the Red Sox. He missed all of the 2019 season with Tommy John surgery after turning in an impressive four-start big-league debut the year before. The righty certainly seems ready to pick up where he left off before the injury.

"Honestly, he’s looking far more advanced than most people might think,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria told reporters a few days ago. "I think he’s commanding a lot better. Changeup, breaking ball, fastball, the misses are minimal. The ball is coming out of his hand loose and hot. Looks really good."

Magical RT for identification of this Red Sox prospect pic.twitter.com/79FW4srSg0

— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) February 19, 2015

Then came the other news (as was first reported by The Athletic): Yoan Moncada (the other key piece of the Sale deal from the White Sox perspective) had agreed to a five-year, $70 million extension that includes an option that potentially brings the contract to $90 million. The 24-year-old would have become arbitration-eligible in 2021, with the opportunity for free agency in 2024.

Switching to third base in 2019, Moncada saw his strikeout-rate drop dramatically thanks to a more aggressive approach at the plate, finishing with the third-highest batting average in the American League (.317). He also managed 25 homers and 34 doubles. In short, he has become the player the Red Sox projected he would evolve into when locking him up.

Benintendi swings while Moncada video bombs pic.twitter.com/wfFs5xTlrZ

— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) February 27, 2016

Most knew when 2020 rolled around there was a good chance the Red Sox would be feeling a bit uneasy, even with a world championship under their belts. But with Sale hurt for a third straight year (the Red Sox' record when he pitches over the past three seasons at 54-37) and the White Sox getting their opportunity to celebrate what was supposed to be the Red Sox' foundation for the future, it wasn't the easiest news cycle for Boston to digest.