Chris Sale’s comments after spring debut will have Braves fans beyond jacked up

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

When the Atlanta Braves traded for Chris Sale and promptly gave him an extension, there was certainly a number of people that were skeptical. There is no denying that when he is healthy, Sale is an monster on the mound. However, Sale's injury history invited a lot of questions as to whether or not he would be able to contribute enough to the Braves in 2024 and beyond to warrant how much the Braves invested in him.

After Sale's first spring training start, that skepticism started to wane a bit as Sale mowed down the Pirates in his two innings of work. Does two innings early in spring training mean much? Absolutely not, but it did provide a glimpse of what Sale's potential is when he is on.

What was even more heartening were Sale's comments when he was asked about what he expected his role and usage would be in 2024 and basically said that he doesn't care how the Braves use him and to just "hand him the ball".

Chris Sale's attitude going into 2024 may be exactly what the Braves need

There has been a lot of speculation as to just how much rest the Braves plan to give Sale especially early on and how they will manage his workload. To Sale's credit, he has taken all of those questions/concerns in stride and he knows that he has a lot of doubters to prove wrong. This is a guy that was once one of the best pitchers in baseball and he clearly wants to get back to being that guy and help the Braves get back to a World Series.

It would have been easy for him to say something like "I want to be out there every fifth day, but that decision is out of my hands" or some other cliche. Instead, he went out and said that whatever the team needs or wants, he will take the ball. No equivocation, no cliches...this dude just wants to play and to win.

The Braves are a very competitive bunch and generally play like their hair is on fire, but having a veteran of Sale's stature come in and say that he is willing to do whatever it takes is certain to have some impact on their clubhouse. As Spencer Strider said, it is World Series or bust for this Braves squad and from the sounds of things, Chris Sale is very much all in on that goal as well. Whether or not his body will hold up to realize that goal is still to be determined, but his Braves tenure is off to a great start.

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