Sale fine with not pitching in All-Star Game

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Sale fine with not pitching in All-Star Game

NEW YORK -- The White Sox' plans call for Chris Sale to start on Tuesday and again on Sunday, which may jeopardize a potential All-Star Game appearance.

But Sale said on Friday afternoon he has no issue with the schedule and thinks it would be selfish for him to think otherwise. Sale, who improved to 9-2 on Wednesday and leads the America League with a 2.27 ERA, should be a shoe-in when All-Star rosters are announced Sunday.

"I've got to pitch here before I pitch anywhere else," Sale said. "I'd hate for them to have to rearrange things for that to happen. That would be very selfish I think to do. This is important to me. This is my team. This our team. I have to do what's best for us and if that means, if I even make it, not pitching in the All-Star Game, then so be it. It would be cool, but I know we've got more important things going on."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura won't commit to his rotation as being set in stone, but didn't see any reason it would change, either. He has the ability to push Sale back another day --- the team is off Monday --- to Wednesday, which would leave Sale available for the July 10 game in Kansas City. But that appears unlikely to happen.

Even if Sale were to pitch Sunday, however, a new provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement leaves him available to pitch in the All-Star Game. Ventura knows what an All-Star Game appearance would mean to Sale and seems open to discussing an appearance if the left-hander is selected.

"(The All-Star Game) is a big thing for him," Ventura said. "For where he started out in spring training and going through it, it's a big deal. It's important and it's fun too for him to actually make the All-Star team and play in it. We'll kind of weigh how he's feeling and how it's going for him."

Second on the team with 95 1 3 innings pitched, Sale -- who had a precautionary MRI on his elbow on May 10 -- said he feels great. He believes the club's plan to spot him extra rest in between starts has helped him to weather any potential health issues. Even if he wouldn't pitch in Kansas City, Sale has no reservations about making the trip.

"I'd probably show up," Sale said with a smile. "Obviously I've got to talk with these guys and figure out what their plan is, and if they'd rather me have a rest, then I'd take the rest. This is what is important to me and something I want to do for the whole season. Like I said, it'd be nice if I do get selected. If I do have the opportunity to pitch, that'd be awesome. But I don't want to deviate from what we have got going on here."

White Sox prospect Michael Kopech fires a 110 mph max velocity throw

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Michael Kopech fires a 110 mph max velocity throw

It's no secret that White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech throws hard.

Acquired in the trade that sent ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox, Kopech was clocked throwing a pitch 105 mph last July while pitching for the Salem Red Sox.

But that's nothing compared to what the No. 4 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball did on Tuesday.

Granted, Kopech was throwing an underload baseball (which he confirmed in a response to the original tweet), but 110 mph is 110 mph.

The White Sox would settle for a few miles per hour less on the mound, but either way it looks like they've got a good one.

White Sox trio lands on MLB.com's Top 10 RHP prospects list

White Sox trio lands on MLB.com's Top 10 RHP prospects list

The White Sox farm system has taken a complete 180 over the past calendar year.

Gone are the days where the White Sox would be lucky to land a single prospect in Top 100 prospects lists.

After undergoing an overhaul that saw franchise cornerstones Chris Sale and Adam Eaton shipped out for a bundle of prospects, the White Sox are soaring up MLB farm system rankings.

As they will each day until the end of the January, MLBPipeline will release baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

To kick off the countdown, the Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects were released on Tuesday, and to no surprise the list is White Sox heavy.

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Lucas Giolito (No. 3) and Reynaldo Lopez (No. 10), sent to the White Sox from the Nationals in a blockbuster deal for Eaton, both cracked the Top 10 list. 

Michael Kopech, who was a key piece along with MLB.com's 2016 top overall prospect Yoan Moncada in the White Sox haul from the Boston Red Sox for Sale, came in at No. 4 on MLBPipeline's rankings.

Check out what MLB.com's Mike Rosenbaum had to say about each White Sox pitcher below:

3. Lucas Giolito, White Sox
The prized right-hander of last year's class, Giolito saw his stock wane over the course of the season and especially in the big leagues, where apparent mechanical issues resulted in diminished velocity and hindered his control. He's shown the ceiling of an ace in the past, with the ability to command a mid-to-upper 90s heater, a knee-buckling curveball and a fading changeup, and now has renowned pitching coach Don Cooper on his side after joining the White Sox as part of the offseason Adam Eaton blockbuster deal.

4. Michael Kopech, White Sox
Kopech began the year on the disabled list with a broken hand but made up for the time lost with dazzling performances in the Class A Advanced Carolina League and, later, in the Arizona Fall League. Acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December, the 20-year-old hits triple digits with ease and backs it up with a plus slider and a promising changeup. As he continues to make developmental strides, Kopech will move quickly in 2017.

10. Reynaldo Lopez, White Sox
Overshadowed by Giolito headed into last season, Lopez proved the more effective of the duo in the big leagues before joining him in the offseason trade to Chicago. A more consistent and linear delivery resulted in improved strike-throwing ability for the 23-year-old righty, who can miss bats with his well above-average fastball, excellent curve and improved changeup.

Ironically, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow and Houston Astros pitcher Francis Martes, two players who have been rumored to be involved in their respective team's talks with the White Sox for starter Jose Quintana, made the Top 10 list on Tuesday.

Heading into the 2016 season, shortstop Tim Anderson (No. 38) and pitcher Carson Fulmer (No. 42) were the only two White Sox prospects on MLBPipeline's Top 100 list.

At the very least the White Sox will double that number in 2017 with the three aforementioned pitchers and Moncada.