Last week, Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was a starter. As of today, Sale is a starter.
In between, Sale got bounced around like a rubber ball and we got treated to a good old-fashioned soap opera. Who needs Ozzie Guillen when we have this cast of characters?
Sale experienced some soreness as well as tightness in his pitching elbow after his last start May 1. The club's reaction was not to simply skip a start but to announce that Sale was now the White Sox' closer. After one bullpen appearance, a blown save in Cleveland one week later, it was announced that Sale would be undergoing an MRI.
But wait, there's more!
Before undergoing the MRI, Sale gets on the phone and pleads his case to White Sox GM Kenny Williams. When the team returned to Chicago, everyone got together and decided that Sale would be starting Saturday night against Kansas City.
Ventura, the man who dubbed Sale the closer a few days before, told mlb.com's Branford Doolittle that the young left-hander was back in the rotation. Williams also confirmed that fact:
MRI is clean and pristine. He's going to pitch. We are very conservative in our approach with regards to the care of particularly our pitchers. I think our history, when you look at all the injury reports over the last dozen years, will show you that.
The course of action that we've taken with [Sale] has not been unlike the course of action we've taken with many of our Minor League guys in such situations.
How did the White Sox handle Chris Sale's situation this last week?
If that's truly the case, it's not surprising the White Sox aren't developing a lot of arms. I'm fine with being conservative, but what transpired in the last week with Sale was ridiculous.
Management seemed to give up on a course of action, then plot another one before really sitting down and thinking about it. If Sale's arm doesn't respond to starting in the long-term, explore some other options.
Aside from the single inning he threw on Tuesday, Sale had about a week off from game action, or slightly more that the time he would have had off if he had simply skipped a start. Couldn't that have just been done in the first place without the intrigue and the phone calls?
I'm not knocking the White Sox for being cautious. It's just seems like an organization that has the kind of history Williams claims would have handled this situation with cooler heads.
By the time all was said and done, even Sale's agent, BB Abbott got into the fray in an e-mail to Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Gonzalez.
In short, yes I am extremely concerned about the way the White Sox have approached this entire situation with Chris and his future. It is his future, isn't it?
One would hope that Sale's future figures into the White Sox future. Hopefully WIlliams and company have a plan for that future.