Opening Day starts might be the most meaningless accolade for a starting pitcher to have, but it is an achievement that they all strive for. Outside of 2007, Mark Buehrle was the Chicago White Sox Opening Day starter for a decade, making it really weird seeing John Danks go to the bump last season. This season, though, the Opening Day starter is still up in there. One can assume the honor will go to either Jake Peavy or Chris Sale. However, I really don’t think there should be that much of a debate on who the Palehose throw out there when the season kicks off in April – - it’s got to be Chris Sale.
This is probably the last season the White Sox will be competitive, figuring this is Paul Konerko’s last season with the team he has called home for a part of three decades. Outside of Konerko, the team has a lot of aging veterans who are on the decline, including a somewhat barren – yet improving – farm system. Ergo, the White Sox really do not have a face of the franchise going forward, which is why it’s the perfect time to make Sale that face.
It will be a nice feeling knowing that Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the rest of this decade, just like Buehrle did from 2000-2010. As much as the cynic inside me wants to trade Sale because of the fear of him breaking down, I cannot think of a more dominant left-handed pitcher in the game today. Sure, there might be better pitchers than Sale, but no one is touching him when he is locked in.
Let’s just hope he will be locked in when he faces the Kansas City Royals on April Fool’s Day.