Chris Sale on If Return Can Make Red Sox World Series Contenders: 'That's the Plan'

AP Photo/John BazemoreChris Sale, Boston Red Sox left-hander, is positive he will make an impact on the mound this season if he makes a return to action.When asked Thursday if he could help the Red Sox win a World Series title, he replied, "That's my plan." He continued:"Our staff has done an amazing job to get us this far. "... We have the best offense in baseball, but you also need to throw the ball. Our guys have done an amazing job keeping us in games and getting us big starts when we need them. For me, I have to come in and do my work."Since August 2019, Sale has not appeared in an MLB match.He was injured with elbow inflammation that month and was not expected to be available for Boston 2020. Ron Roenicke, his manager at the time, indicated that he would not be available for Opening Day and so he had Tommy John surgery.Since then, Sale has been working steadily to get back on track. Sale threw a simulation game on Saturday, and then he logged two more innings Wednesday.Thursday's statement by the 32-year old indicated that he is ready to start rehab and would "go to New Zealand to make a start if necessary."Sale's return is expected but would be an additional bonus for a Red Sox team that has exceeded all expectations. Boston holds the American League's record for best record, 50-31, and is three games ahead of the AL East second-place Tampa Bay Rays.FanGraphs gives the Sox a 11.2 percent chance to win the World Series. This is second in the AL, behind the Houston Astros (14.1%).Many notable pitchers have had successful returns from Tommy John surgery. It is not surprising that Sale will once again be a dominant force. He'd be a major upgrade to Nick Pivetta and Garrett Richards in Boston's lineup, even if he was 70-80 percent of his former self.