"Chris Sale is healthy. Chris Sale is fine. Chris Sale is going to be pitching."
That's the point Don Cooper hammered home on an appearance on the Mully and Hanley Show on WSCR-670 AM (full audio here) when the hosts persisted in asking him about Sale's condition. Cooper admitted Sale's elbow has been sore, but then argued the Sox wouldn't have pitched him in a game had he been hurt.
The timing of the MRI was a good question -- as in, why wasn't it done immediately after Sale experienced sorenesstendernesstightness -- to which Cooper said he didn't need one right away. His MRI on Thursday is described as "routine," as in, pitchers and players get these all the time. Bill Melton added credence to the idea of a "routine MRI" on last night's edition of White Sox Postgame Live, saying players get MRIs for "pretty much anything" at this point.
Another interesting note from Cooper was that the White Sox never had a discussion about putting Sale on the disabled list, even though he went a week without pitching between his last start and first relief appearance. It had been suggested and rumored by some that the Sox should'vewere thinking about shelving Sale for 15 days to see if his arm heals, but per Cooper, that wasn't an option.
Even though Cooper insists Sale is perfectly fine, it's going to be a nervous couple of hours waiting for a report on the results of Sale's MRI. The first step is making sure Sale's healthy, the second is deciding where he should wind up. Cooper didn't sound married to the idea of Sale staying in the bullpen, only saying that "as of this minute" Sale was a reliever.
Lastly, Cooper confirmed that Eric Stults will start Saturday against Kansas City (that slot had previously been TBA). While Stults had decent results against Cleveland (6 IP, 2 ER), he walked as many batters as he struck out (4) and owns a 4.86 ERA in 163 career innings.
Barring a major turnaround, the Sox may have to scramble to find a suitable fifth starter if Sale ultimately does stay in the bullpen. If the Sox convene and decide to move him back to the rotation, though, that's a big problem solved.