White Sox notes: Sale pushed up, will start Monday

White Sox notes: Sale pushed up, will start Monday
May 5, 2013, 12:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY -- Chris Sale will start for the White Sox Monday afternoon against Kansas City, manager Robin Ventura said Sunday morning. Jake Peavy was originally scheduled to start in the makeup game, but hasn't recovered well enough from last week's back spasms to pitch Monday.

Hector Santiago will start Tuesday's series opener against the Mets, meaning the New York area native will get his chance to pitch in front of a number of friends and family.

As for Peavy, Ventura said a stint on the disabled list is a possibility.

"We’re going by today and tomorrow and how he feels," Ventura said. "He’s getting better, but it’s one of those that I don’t know if it’s enough to go out and pitch and expect him to go out and pitch seven or eight innings. I’m not a doctor, but you wait it out and see how he feels."

[RELATED: Santiago amped up to pitch in New York]

Peavy played catch on Saturday, but his ailing back hindered his ability to do so. Initially, Ventura thought Santiago could start on short rest Monday for Peavy, but the Sox ultimately decided to throw Sale on normal rest instead.

Monday's matchup will be a rematch of Opening Day, with Sale facing Kansas City ace James Shields.

"It's always fun getting their best guy," Sale said. "That's what you want. You always want to go up against their best guy, their best lineup. It's not going to be easy, but it's a challenge and we look forward to challenges, that's the nature of the game."

Keppinger's struggles not worrying Ventura

Jeff Keppinger was slated in his usual No. 2 spot in the White Sox lineup Sunday, despite a batting line of .186/.182/.206 with 12 strikeouts in 99 plate appearances. The infielder, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox in the offseason, is the only qualified major leaguer who hasn't drawn a walk this year entering Sunday.

Ventura, though, preached patience with Keppinger's early-season issues.

"I don’t know if concern is the word," Ventura said. "It’s not smooth. It’s not really not the norm for him. But again he has a track record and you expect that to come out and stay with it."

In his career, Keppinger is a .284/.332/.389 hitter with a strikeout rate of 6.6 percent and a walk rate of 6.4 percent.

Ventura open to lineup tweaks

Another scuffling member of the White Sox lineup is Alex Rios, who's hit .169/.253/.268 with three extra-base hits in his last 19 games. Ventura thinks that line is the product of Rios trying to pull the ball too much, instead of looking up the middle as he did in 2012, in which he had a .325/.368/.439 slash line.

For now, Rios will remain in the No. 3. spot in the Sox order. But with plenty of other struggling hitters and others on the disabled list, Ventura said he's not necessarily attached to his current lineup structure.

"Anything is changeable," Ventura said. "I think that’s one of the things. It could change. You’re waiting for guys to come out of what is going on right now. You expect them to come back to normal. It could change. I don’t see any reason people have to hit in a certain spot. Eventually, (we) got to find the one that works.”