Robin Ventura stressed again Wednesday the White Sox have just chosen to be cautious with Chris Sale.
Although the team’s ace left-hander has been scratched from Wednesday’s start with mild tendonitis in his throwing shoulder, it isn’t an indication Sale is hurt worse than the team is letting on, Ventura said.
Ventura said Sale -- who signed a five-year, $32-million deal in March -- isn’t scheduled for an MRI and is thought to be on track to pitch Tuesday against the Cubs. Hector Santiago is starting in Sale’s place on Wednesday in the series finale as the White Sox look for a sweep of the Boston Red Sox.
“He wants to go pitch,” Ventura said. “It’s us that are taking the ball out of his hands. It’s not his decision, but he knows how he feels and how he’s going to feel in five days.”
After Tuesday’s game, Sale said his shoulder flared up following Friday’s win over the Angels in Anaheim. He couldn’t participate in his normal side session and didn’t play long toss, either.
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Based on Sale’s workload thus far, it’s easy to see why the White Sox don’t want to take any risk. Though he has been highly economical, Sale has pitched well enough to average 7.11 innings per start. He has only thrown more than 110 pitches three times and has averaged 104.11 pitches per outing.
Sale said he plans to be low key in the interim.
“Just take a couple days off,” Sale said. “Do some icing, stem, couple other machines they got back there and just try to get it right and go forward and whatever the next one comes, I’ll be there.”
Dunn still not fully back
Adam Dunn isn’t fully healed from Saturday’s back spasms though he maintains he’s in good enough shape to play. Dunn will start at designated hitter again and has little issues swinging the bat, though he said he has twice felt something when swinging. Dunn said his problem is more related to fielding because his pain is vertical.
“It takes so long to get loose,” Dunn said. “I have to probably go two or three batters before I normally do just to go and get loose again. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same.”
Dunn said he’s not sure an offday is the solution, either. The White Sox are off Thursday before they open a three-game series against the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
“Laying down that hurts it worse and sitting down makes it stiff,” Dunn said. “So, I’m sure I’ll be walking around doing some stuff. Again, I never had any back problems. I don’t consider this a back problem really. But I don’t know. I guess it just has to run its course.”
Thoughts with Oklahoma
Ventura and third baseman Conor Gillaspie both have ties to this week’s devastating tornado in Moore, Okla.
The tornado, which touched down Monday and killed 24 people, including 10 children, damaged as many as 13,000 homes. Property damage could reach $2 billion, Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett said Wednesday.
Ventura spent three years in college an hour away in Stillwater, Okla.
“You just know people and lived there for three years, it’s hard,” Ventura said. “It’s a tough one. You see it’s happened before. There’s no way to explain it.”
Gillaspie said several of his Wichita State baseball teammates live in the area. He’s certain he would have heard by this point had any been fatally injured but hasn’t been able to get a hold of several friends.
“It’s a sad day for a lot of people down there,” Gillaspie said. “I feel for them. I've been around destruction like that.”