White Sox won't commit to a plan for Chris Sale just yet

White Sox won't commit to a plan for Chris Sale just yet
April 30, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Chris Sale still hasn't done more than play light catch, so the White Sox remain in a holding pattern regarding a course of action for the left-hander's return.

Manager Robin Ventura said prior to Wednesday's game against Detroit that Sale may need to pitch in a simulated game or go on a rehab assignment, but wouldn't definitively commit to either happening.

"I think if you keep going, he might end up getting to a point where he might have to go do one rehab start, something short," Ventura said. "I know in the past we've done some simulated games, which would have to happen first and we would talk about that. If it keeps going further and further we'll probably get closer to doing a rehab assignment."

The White Sox aren't trying to rush Sale back from a strained left flexor muslce, even though he's eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday. But when Sale eventually does come back, whenever that is, Ventura said he won't necessarily be more cautious with him.

[MORE: White Sox downplay chances Sale starts against Cleveland]

In Sale's final start before being placed on the disabled list, he threw a career high 127 pitches. Faced with a tired bullpen and a duel against Boston's Jon Lester, Ventura left Sale in for the seventh, allowing his pitch count to get that high -- though it's worth noting Sale threw more than 120 pitches in three starts last year.

For Ventura, it'll be less about pitch counts and more about the feedback he's getting from Sale during the game.

"I'd say it's still more how he's feeling when he goes in there," Ventura said. "Very few times has he gone up to that level of being in that area. But in some games, when you're going against another pitcher that's like that -- whether you take him out, you're going to hear it, and if you keep going you're going to hear it. For me, it's how he's feeling and how he's acting and how he's pitching."