The Boston Red Sox seem likely to be last in the AL East in the 2023 season. Team chairman Tom Werner recently named Chris Sale directly as someone who will need to step up in order to make sure that they bounce back from a rough season.

The callout means something to Sale, according to Chris Cotillo of What seemed to be like a stern challenge was actually interpreted as a sign that he is still one of the most important players for the Red Sox.

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“I just got goosebumps,” Sale said, via “That kind of fired me up a little bit, honestly. I appreciate that he thinks of me in that light. If anything, that’s an honor. He just gave me a compliment. Not for nothing, he’s right. When you have these big dogs on the team that make a lot of money with these big contracts, you need them to perform. So yeah, I’ll double down on it with him.”

The 33-year-0ld has worked hard to get back to pitching but something has faced obstacles at every turn. Sale has been injured time after time and is eager to maintain his health for a full season again. At his peak, Sale was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. He posted a 3.08 ERA in his first three seasons with the Red Sox and is the all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings and strikeouts per walk. With a Spring Training that has seen no setbacks yet, Sale is ready to get going.