Chris Sale was absolutely filthy for the Chicago White Sox in 2013. His record wasn’t great (11-14) but that’s more so an indication of how bad the rest of his team was. The south paw posted a 3.07 ERA (just a hair over the 3.05 ERA he posted in 2012 when he went 17-8), a 1.073 WHIP and struck out 226 batters in 214.1 innings pitched.
On Friday, the lanky left hander made his 2014 Spring Training debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sale threw 43 pitches over 2.2 innings of work. He allowed zero runs, one hit, zero walks and struck out four.
Be excited White Sox fans. While most hurlers are using this time to learn or improve a certain pitch and work themselves back to mid-season form, it seems as though Sale is ready for Opening Day. He only pitched 2.2 innings, but in that brief time the White Sox’s ace gave every indication he will continue dominating Major League hitters like he has during the past two seasons.
His fastball was hard, his slider was sharp and he located both pitches well. Adrian Gonzalez tagged him for a double in the left-center field gap, but he hits the ball to the opposite field better than anyone in the game. He was also the only batter Sale allowed to reach base.
Sale’s performance last season earned him his second All-Star selection in two years and a fifth place finish in Cy Young voting. Don’t be surprised if he wins the award this year.