Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is going to be getting some time off. It remains to be seen as to how long his vacation from the rotation will be. Should it be long enough to merit a trip to the disabled list?
Assuming the White Sox placed Sale on the DL retroactive to July 28, the day after his last previous start, he could return August 11 having missed two turns through the rotation. The acquisition of Francisco Liriano from Minnesota gives Chicago enough starting options to make this happen.
If the White Sox feel they can afford to skip Sale's scheduled start Wednesday, it stands to reason that they could deal with another. After all, the White Sox are committed to limiting the young left-hander's starts and innings.
Placing Sale on the DL allows the White Sox to rest one of their best pitchers for the final stretch of the season. It would also allow Robin Ventura to have a full stable of arms in his absence.
In order to make room for Liriano to join the active roster, Hector Santiago was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Santiago had a 2.08 ERA over his last 11 starts since June 16. If Sale is unavailable for more than a few days, that's a valuable piece of the bullpen to give up.
Santiago will be used as a starter in Charlotte. Perhaps he will return to the White Sox in the form of a spot starter or long relief man. Stretching him out does give Ventura options which could prove beneficial later in the season.
Maybe Sale just needs a few days for his arm to snap back a bit. It's possible that he throws this weekend and responds to a few extra days off. However, a stint on the DL wouldn't be a bad thing if the alternative is bumping him back every start or two.
We should know more after Sale does his side work Tuesday and the White Sox staff agree upon a course of action. A lot of other factors could influence a decision, starting with how Liriano throws against his old team in Minnesota Tuesday night.
Like it or not, Chicago is going to allow Sale some rest. If that is the case, why not consider an extended rest white the White Sox still have a full compliment of starters?