Chris Sale: What Skipping His Turn in the Rotation Means
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The Chicago White Sox seem to find a way to stay on the front pages.
The 19-2 shelling of the Texas Rangers was preceded by word that, arguably, the best pitcher in baseball, left-handed starter Chris Sale, would not start the first-half finale on Sunday.
Chicago Tribune beat reporter Mark Gonzales tweeted around five o’clock that both general manager Kenny Williams “hinted” as much and manager Robin Ventura “said it’s possible.”
Instead, he would get an extended break prior to and after All-Star weekend.
Williams was quoted in the Tribune, saying that the move would allow Sale “to catch his third wind.”
The idea took a while to sink in.
At first, this seemed like a waste of an opportunity to have Sale lock up a couple more victories for the Sox, and in the immediate future, this is 100 percent accurate.
For the rest of the season, however, giving Sale a break is a great idea.
It is great that Sale will get to pitch in the All-Star game next Tuesday, but that is just the icing on the cake. The real benefit is that by shaving 14-18 innings off of his left arm now, the Sox will have a fresher Sale the last week of September and into the season series finale the first week in October.
Is skipping Sale's start a good idea?
The White Sox played the Cleveland Indians six times in the last 10 days, and those games may mean the difference between making the postseason and going home.
Setting Sale up for two starts against the Tribe to end the year is smart managing.
It also means that the Sox can align their rotation to have Sale, Jake Peavy and Jose Quintana pitch in Detroit the second weekend after the break. The more space the Sox put between themselves and the Tigers, the better.
After failing to take advantage of a relatively weak schedule in June, giving Sale a break and stacking the rotation against division opponents may be a blessing for an overachieving team.
With eight rookies on the 12-man pitching staff, this team is most certainly overachieving.
Give Sale his break, let him represent the White Sox in Kansas City at the All-Star game and then let him lead the Sox into October.
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