KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Robin Ventura changed his mind and Chris Sale will now face the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
The White Sox manager announced his decision Friday afternoon, a little less than 24 hours after the club said it would keep its rotation in order following Thursday’s rainout. Rather than face Kansas City, the choice meant that Sale would have been pushed back and faced the New York Mets on Monday instead.
But as Ventura and his coaching staff discussed their options (he had five pages full of potential rotation options on Thursday), ultimately it made the most sense for Sale to face a divisional opponent. Sale is set to face Edinson Volquez in the series finale at 1:15 p.m.
“This is the better play,” Ventura said. “(Sale) didn’t throw very much the other day. We have a division team. A lot of things going into it. Just keep him on schedule and keep him pitching. It’s that simple.
“You play these guys a lot. They’re in your division. You have a chance for (Sale) to still go out there. You look at it with what he did the other day. It made a little more sense to have him go Sunday.”
Sale lost for the first time in 10 starts all season on Tuesday. He threw only 89 pitches against the Cleveland Indians, which has the White Sox comfortable with keeping him on schedule and working on a normal four days of rest instead of needing another.
“He was out of the game quicker than usual last time so we can do it,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “We feel good about Sale against anybody. Division team, that might have had something to do with it.”
The White Sox said Jose Quintana would start Monday against the Mets with Mat Latos on Tuesday and Friday’s starter, Miguel Gonzalez, throwing on Wednesday.
No matter what happens in Friday’s game, Ventura said he likely plans to stick with Carlos Rodon against the Royals on Saturday and Sale on Sunday.