The never-ending saga betwen the Chicago White Sox and Chris Sale might finally come to an end, after his MRI revealed no damage structural damage to his elbow. General Manager Kenny Williams even showed off his vocabulary skills, saying his elbow looks “clean and pristine”. With this good news, Chris Sale will start tonight against the Kansas City Royals.
This is not only great news for Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox, but it’s also great news for Addison Reed and the fans. Chris Sale starting and Addison Reed closing helps the Chicago White Sox win more games than Addison Reed in the bullpen and Chris Sale closing. Even if Chris Sale is shut down later in the season, 100+ innings of Sale is better than the 65+ innings he would give the Chicago White Sox out of the bullpen. And this forces Robin Ventura’s hand – hopefully – to use Addison Reed as the team’s closer. I’ve been on the Addison Reed bandwagon since last year, and was the major reason I was fine with the Sergio Santos trade, so please use him as your closer, Robin.
I really think the Chicago White Sox panicked when Chris Sale said he felt discomfort in his throwing elbow, assuming the worst case scenario with their left-hander. Personally, I think that discomfort was just the normal wear and tear a starting pitcher gets from pitching every fifth day. Obviously I can’t speak for Chris Sale and the White Sox training staff, but when the news first broke, that’s the first thing that came to mind.
Apparently, the plan is contingent with a monitoring process with Chris Sale, and he must be honest with the White Sox staff on how he feels, which is a dangerous precedent considering what we have seen when Chris Sale said he had discomfort.
Who knows what the future holds for Chris Sale. But if the Chicago White Sox want now and in the future, Chris Sale needs to anchor that starting rotation, with Addison Reed closing games out.