Chris Sale made his final pre-season start on Tuesday, striking out six Astros in four innings of work. He's set to make his major-league debut as a starting pitcher next week in Cleveland, and with it will come uncertainty. Before March, it'd been nearly two years since Sale made his last start, that being in college with Florida Gulf Coast University.
FGCU coach Dave Tollett, though, doesn't have much uncertainty when it comes to his outlook on his former player, especially with regard to Sale's increased innings load.
"I think he is going to be fine, Tollett said, speaking before FGCU faced Florida State Wednesday." He was a starter for us and then he went straight from us after throwing 90-some innings to the Cape Cod League and threw about 62 there. I think he is going to be fine durability-wise."
That was in 2009, when Sale threw 89 13 innings for FGCU before moving on to Cape Cod for the summer. He didn't experience any ill effects the next year, making 15 starts with a 2.01 ERA for FGCU in 2010.
"For us, he was National Collegiate Player of the Year," Tollett continued. "There's no question he's that guy. He has that kind of tools to be one of the top 15 pitchers in the big leagues."
And, for Tollett, Sale's makeup is unquestionably good. Don't dismiss it as coach hyperbole, either -- Sale signed with the White Sox early so he could have a chance to compete in the major leagues only a few months after he left college.
"One of the best kids I have ever coached. He's a competitor," Tollett said. "When you say competitor, his picture is in the dictionary next to it. He loves to compete."
Big thanks to friend of the site and 247Sports.com Florida State reporter Corey Dowlar for getting the quotes.