BOSTON -- They’ve tweeted #TargetSale, voted, worn DoodleHats and on Monday, Chris Sale’s teammates had on T-shirts in support of his Final Vote candidacy for next week’s All-Star Game.
Between those efforts and the many more behind the scenes from Sale’s friends, family and former teammates, the White Sox pitcher said he feels pretty good on the second day of the contest. Fans can vote online or via text message to help Sale reach his third straight All-Star Game through 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, including use of the #TargetSale on Twitter on Thursday only.
[ALL-STAR GAME: Vote for Chris Sale (and Anthony Rizzo) here]
“Just seeing how much involvement they’re putting on me,” Sale said. “I’ve got texts from high school coaches, my college coach saying ‘We’ve got everyone we know, they’ve got their sources, this this and that all voting for you.’ It definitely makes me appreciate everyone around me a lot more.”
Well, maybe not everyone.
Sale, who won last year’s All-Star Game with two shutout innings, said his teammates have made some jokes at his expense.
“That I was loving all the attention and the limelight,” Sale said. “You know me. I like to be the center of attention all the time. Yeah, some good jokes going on about that.”
Though Conor Gillaspie is out of Monday’s lineup with a bruised right knee it doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury, manager Robin Ventura said. Gillaspie was removed from Sunday’s game after he was hit by a pitch and later had an X-ray. Ventura said Gillaspie is still in pain but is hopeful he could play Tuesday.
“He’s moving a little better, but he’s sore, and we just felt it was better to give him (Monday) and make sure he’s able to get out there and move around and dive and do all that stuff,” Ventura said. “He’s pretty sore today.
“Hopefully by tomorrow he should be fine. He’s got some swelling in there and discomfort.”
-- General manager Rick Hahn didn’t have an update on negotiations with first-round pick Carlos Rodon other than to note July 18 is approaching quickly. Hahn said the club needs to get its hands on Rodon, who hasn’t pitched since May 16, and would need to build him back up before determining if he could pitch again this season.
-- A.J. Pierzynski won the Final Vote in 2006 when he played for the White Sox with the “Punch A.J.” campaign. Though he hasn’t seen many of the other pitchers up for this year’s game, Pierzynski supports Sale’s candidacy.
“I know when we faced him earlier in the year, he was the normal Chris Sale,” Pierzynski said. “I don’t see a reason why he shouldn’t be there.”
-- Matt Lindstrom (strained ankle tendon) has begun to throw off a mound, though no as much from an “arm-strength standpoint” yet, Hahn said. However, Lindstrom could start gearing up for a rehab assignment soon, Hahn said, and “hopefully activation at some point before September.”
-- Nate Jones (sore back) doesn’t have a timeline yet, “but he’s moving along,” Hahn said.