When Chris Sale was placed on the 15-day disabled list back in April due to elbow soreness, many wondered just how hurt the White Sox’ ace really was.
But in a transitional year for the Sox, it makes all the sense in the world to be overly cautious … especially when dealing with a player as integral to the franchise’s future as Sale. However with all of that being said, it was also totally fair to be a bit worried as his time sidelined has approached and is soon-to-surpass one month.
He’d made a few appearances of the bullpen and simulated game variety in Chicago since going down, but finally got his first game action in on Friday evening as the Charlotte Knights of AAA took on the Durham Bulls.
It took Sale 68 pitches to get through four innings … an extremely impressive four innings, I might add. He let up just one single and two walks (both to Jerry Sands) while striking out eleven hitters.
We’ve all seen Sale pitch enough for that line to not surprise us, but it’s encouraging to know he’s back in top-notch form already.
There’d been speculation Sale would return to the major league rotation for next weekend’s four-game set at home against the New York Yankees, and it seems there’s still a good shot of that happening. Barring any setbacks he’s on pace to pitch Tuesday, and then again next Sunday.
We’ll monitor what the Sox choose to do, but what’s most important is that it won’t be too long before we get to see Chicago’s best baseball player’s return.
Sale was off to a quick start on the 2014 season before going down. Through four starts he was 3-0 (team won all four games) with a 2.33 ERA, 0.841 WHIP while fanning 29 hitters in 27.1 innings.