His second-half schedule would have to be altered, but it appears all systems are go for a Chris Sale appearance in the All-Star Game.
While the rosters won't be announced until Tuesday, Sale’s fifth All-Star nod is but a mere formality. And unlike last year, when the left-hander didn’t appear in the exhibition because he pitched only two days before it, Sale has an extra 24 hours with which to work as he’s next scheduled to start against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Sale, who is 14-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 17 starts, would also seem to be in consideration to be the American League’s starting pitcher in the Midsummer Classic.
“I don’t see that as an issue of him being able to pitch in the All-Star Game,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I would like to see him do whatever he wants to do. He’s earned the right to do it. Whether they ask him to do it and he does it is another thing. It’s always an honor to play in the All-Star Game and to be the guy who is asked to start it is special. It doesn’t come around very often for a lot of guys and to do it is a feather in your cap.”
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The White Sox weren’t too keen on Sale pitching in the 2015 All-Star Game even though American League manager Ned Yost preferred to start him.
Sale threw 115 pitches in a seven-inning start at Wrigley Field and earned the victory on Saturday, which would have meant he only had two days off before the contest. As late as Monday morning before the Tuesday game, Yost said he intended to use Sale and had received permission from Ventura.
“It took some convincing,” Yost said. “I think (Ventura) understands and I understand. I understand how important (Sale) is to that organization and it’s one of those deals where the world kind of wants to see him pitch. But everything is going to be good.”
Ultimately, however, Sale didn’t pitch. This year, Ventura doesn’t see it as an issue. Were Sale to throw, the White Sox would adapt their starting rotation plans for the beginning of the second half, which opens July 15 at the Los Angeles Angels.
“He won’t come back and start on Friday, that much I know,” Ventura said. “He’ll get a little rest knowing he would throw in that game because he’s throwing Friday, depending how deep he goes in that game, and what happens Tuesday if he throws in that game. You’re going to give him the proper rest to slot back in that he would feel comfortable and strong when he goes back out there.”