Ex-MLB closer Brad Lidge concerned about Chris Sale's reduced velocity


The Red Sox aren't concerned about Chris Sale's reduced velocity, but former MLB closer Brad Lidge sure is.

Sale, whose fastball usually hovers around 95 mph, had an alarming average fastball velocity of 89.1 mph on Wednesday. Red Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie said there is "zero concern" about the ace's reduced velocity and implied that it was by design. Lidge, however, isn't buying it.

"I've never heard of a pitcher that is just all of a sudden like, 'I'm feeling great, but I'm going to hold everything back until the second half," Lidge said on MLB Network Radio. "I have never heard of that in my life, and I don't think that's the case with Chris Sale. If you feel good, you're going to let it go. He's either not feeling good, or he is letting it go and there just isn't a whole lot coming out. Either way, that's a bad scenario."

Listen to the full clip below:

(If Lidge's name doesn't ring a bell, you can refresh your memory with this throwback clip...)

If Sale's reduced velocity indeed is by design and ends up benefitting the 30-year-old in August and September, then it'll be another impressive note on manager Alex Cora's résumé.

But if it turns out to be a real issue, there undoubtedly will be serious concern surrounding the left-hander who the Red Sox recently signed to a $145 million extension.

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