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."

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

Preview: Carlos Rodon, White Sox open final series of season vs. Twins on CSN+

The White Sox open their final series of the season tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN+. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup: Carlos Rodon (8-10, 4.08 ERA) vs. Tyler Duffey (9-11, 6.18 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

White Sox five-game winning streak snapped with loss to Rays

The playoffs were the ultimate goal and he probably would have liked another victory on Thursday night.

But Jose Quintana has plenty to be proud about when he takes stock of his 2016 campaign, which ended with a 5-3 White Sox loss to the Tampa Rays in front of 14,792 at U.S. Cellular Field. The first-time All-Star’s record dropped to 13-12 after he allowed two earned runs in six innings in his final start, but not before Quintana established career highs for innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average. The loss guaranteed a fourth straight losing season for the White Sox, who haven’t reached the postseason since 2008.

“I’m happy with my year,” Quintana said. “But every time I say it’s not about me. It’s about the team. We’ll try to finish strong in the next series against the Twins and come back next year to have a better year than this one.”

Quintana had the best individual season of his career. If he’d received any kind of run support from his teammates, he’d be at or near the top of the leaders for wins, too.

But same as he has for the past four seasons, Quintana didn’t receive any run support yet again on Thursday, though this time can be attributed to a stellar performance by Chris Archer.

Archer held down early an offense that had Quintana ranked 116th out of 132 qualified starting pitchers in run support. The White Sox only had two runners reach scoring position in the time Quintana pitched (one scored). By the time Archer slowed down, the White Sox bullpen allowed three runs and the contest was nearly out of reach at 5-1.

Still, Quintana was good enough to win yet again in a season full of comparable efforts.

He allowed a run in the second inning on a bloop RBI single by Alexei Ramirez and another in the fourth on a solo homer by Mikie Mahtook. Other than that he was his normal efficient self, striking out seven and limiting the Rays to two runs and five hits in six innings.

The effort lowered Quintana’s ERA to 3.20 (his previous low was 3.32 in 2014). He also surpassed his previous high-inning mark of 206 1/3 with 208 this season. And, Quintana, who eclipsed the 10-win mark for the first time in his career, finished with 181 strikeouts, three more than he in 2014.

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White Sox manager Robin Ventura thinks the overall production was a byproduct of the first All-Star nod for Quintana, who surpassed 200 innings for a fourth straight season.

“You wouldn’t think that would mean a lot, but it really does,” Ventura said. “I think that’s the stuff that can catapult somebody into things that are better and pushing him into the offseason, the optimistic stuff of going into next year.”

Quintana’s name often surfaces as an easy fix to some of the White Sox’ woes when it comes to next season.

With two guaranteed seasons and two club-friendly options left on his current contract, Quintana — who entered Thursday valued at 19.7 f-WAR for his career — is viewed as a stellar trade chip given the weak free agent class. It is believed the White Sox could solve several problem areas on the roster or add considerable depth to their farm system were they to make Quintana or Chris Sale available. Quintana knows the possibility exists but hopes he’s back with the White Sox next season and helping them end their postseason drought.

“I don’t have control about that,” Quintana said. “I don’t know nothing about trades. I’m here as a Chicago White Sox, and I want to be here for a long time. I’ll go home, rest and am going to be ready to start with my preparation for next year. I’ll be ready for that, but I don’t have control about trades.”