Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Humbled Sale hopes to return from Rays suspension

Josh Sale, pictured in 2013, is on track to be reinstated this spring and resume his once-promising career.


Josh Sale, pictured in 2013, is on track to be reinstated this spring and resume his once-promising career.

ST. PETERSBURG — Of the 24 Rays prospects gathered Wednesday in the Tropicana Field clubhouse as part of the winter development camp, OF Josh Sale was undoubtedly the happiest to be there.

Suspended indefinitely in May for conduct detrimental to the organization, the 2010 first-round pick is on track to be reinstated in the spring and resume his once-promising career.

"It was humbling," Sale said. "It was a reality check, definitely. … It's an amazing feeling to be back."

Sale, 22, spent the forced sabbatical at his family's Seattle-area home, speaking almost daily with Vince Lodato, a therapist who heads the team's employee assistance program.

"I was able to grow up," Sale said. "That's what really needed to be worked on, just me as a person, doing what I can to better myself, because nobody's bigger than the game."

Sale had just completed a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug the previous season when the Rays sent him home after a Facebook post about a visit to a strip club. He was set to join advanced Class A Charlotte.

"I knew I had to go home, grow up, take care of a lot of things," Sale said, speaking publicly for the first time since. "It was demoralizing, but something that my actions induced."

Farm director Mitch Luekvics said the Rays are pleased with Sale's progress and would anticipate reinstating him from the restricted list at the end of spring training, assuming he continues to progress.

BIGGER PICTURE: Dealing with seven arbitration-eligible players before Friday's 1 p.m. deadline to exchange figures is top priority, but the Rays are continuing to look for ways to improve their 40-man roster and overall depth, executive VP Andrew Friedman said: "We're still tinkering, still playing around with different scenarios."

MISCELLANY: The March 31 opener with Toronto will start at 4:10 p.m. Most Monday-Friday games will remain at 7:10 and Sundays at 1:40; Saturday games will vary among 1:10, 4:10 and 7:10. … Lukevics said SS Hak-Ju Lee, recovering from surgery to repair left knee ligaments torn in an April 2013 collision, is on track to be ready for the start of the season. "We're very encouraged," Lukevics said.

Humbled Sale hopes to return from Rays suspension 01/15/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 11:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  2. Rays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. Saturday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Today: at Twins

    2:10, Target Field, Minneapolis

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. State baseball: Unbeaten Calvary Christian makes it 29 straight wins, reaches final


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian is one game from season-long perfection. And its first state championship.

     Calvary Christian players celebrate their win after the FHSAA class 4A semi-final against American Heritage on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary defeated American Heritage 7 to 1. Calvary takes on Pensacola Catholic in the championship tomorrow night, at Hammond Stadium.
  4. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  5. Rays journal: Rookie Daniel Robertson takes pride in sparkling defense

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Rookie INF Daniel Robertson has earned raves for his defensive play at both second base and shortstop, making a highlight play almost every game he starts, including one in the fifth inning Friday.