Chris Sale feels good and the White Sox want to take advantage of it.
The team announced Friday they would move up by a day the two-time All-Star pitcher’s next start to Sunday. Originally expected to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in California, Sale is now set to face the San Diego Padres in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox have no problem moving Sale up one day because it keeps him on his regular throwing day and he only threw 40 pitches in his rain-shortened start on Tuesday.
“I was expecting to throw on Monday with an extra day, but it’s not like they are moving me up a day or anything like that,” Sale said. “So, just it kind of makes sense with throwing three innings and being fresh and going back out there on Sunday.
"Whenever they need me or my name is called, I’m going out there. It just so happens to be Sunday, which for me makes sense because I only threw three innings. So go out there on regular rest and get it going, try to find a groove.”
Sale has been in a groove since he returned to the mound earlier this month.
Including his only rehab start at Triple-A Charlotte, Sale has retired 40 of the 45 batters he has faced, including 25 strikeouts. Over those starts Sale has allowed two hits and walked three.
The White Sox get several benefits from the move: Sale pitches at in front of the home crowd and down the road he gets to pitch in next month’s home series against the Detroit Tigers.
But with Sale feeling good, manager Robin Ventura said he likes keeps his ace throwing on the fifth day after a brief start against Cleveland on Tuesday.
“There was some of that, that you, in going through the thought process of it, as little as he threw the other night when it was rain-shortened, it made sense it would’ve been like a sideline for him,” Ventura said. “So, it made sense. It’s not like we’re rushing him after … it’s not like he’s going on short days’ rest after a full outing before.”