White Sox

White Sox: Chris Sale not concerned with tying MLB strikeout record

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White Sox: Chris Sale not concerned with tying MLB strikeout record

ST. LOUIS — What’s Chris Sale more proud of: tying a major league strikeout record or getting his first career hit?

It’s actually not much of a debate. The hit wins.

Sale was far more concerned with getting the ball from his third-inning broken-bat single than he was after striking out Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta to clinch his eighth consecutive start with 10 or more strikeouts, which tied Pedro Martinez’s 1999 record. The hit — and his ensuing slide into home to score the first run of what turned out to be a 2-1 White Sox win — was something Sale smiled about after the game.

“I’m not going to sit here and act like I did it on purpose,” Sale laughed. “I got lucky, I broke my bat, so that’s about as cheap of a hit as you possibly can get.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Chris Sale does it again as White Sox outlast Cardinals]

When it came to his more historically significant accomplishment, though, Sale was quick to deflect attention away from it.

“Probably the least of anybody, really,” Sale said when asked how much attention he paid to equaling Martinez’s record. “Those kinds of things don’t really matter to me. People that know me know it is what it is really. It’s cool that’s stuff you talk about later on. You start worrying about stuff like right now, and we won’t be talking about that anymore for sure.”

Only two other pitchers besides Sale and Martinez have struck out double digit batters in seven straight starts — the others being Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Sale’s streak began with 10 strikeouts May 23 against Minnesota, and he followed that with 12, 13, 14, 12, 14, 10 and 12 strikeouts, totaling 97 over those eight starts. Martinez struck out 107 in his eight-game stretch 16 years ago.

While Sale allowed five runs in his previous start in Minnesota and the White Sox are only 4-4 during his streak (Boston went 7-1 during Martinez’s), it hasn’t detracted from his dominance.

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get a Chris Sale jersey right here]

“It’s just hard to keep finding adjectives for him,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s great, again the numbers he’s piling up and the people that he keeps getting grouped in with and come up when you mention his name are impressive. They’re some of the greatest pitchers that have ever played our game.”

Sale, though, isn’t willing to look up and admire his accomplishments just yet. There’s still half a season to be played, and the White Sox are still nine games under .500.

At some point Sale will reflect on matching — or, if his next start goes well, breaking — a major league record, but it’s not now.

“It’s stuff you think about when you are a kid and stuff,” Sale said. “There’s a time and a place for that stuff, and it’s not now, not here. So, like I said in the offseason maybe we’ll kick it around a little bit, but I still have a job to do.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 1

We asked you to ask us anything about the White Sox and you delivered in a big way. We got so many questions, we had to do two different podcasts! Among the questions here in Part 1: should the White Sox send Yoan Moncada to Triple-A? What players will be traded before the deadline? Who are some sleeper prospects in the minors? Will Jordan Stephens be called up before Michael Kopech? Should Juan Uribe be a team ambassador? What's our all-time White Sox team from 2000 to the present and many more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

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USA TODAY

Rick Hahn says 'there will be many' promotions for White Sox prospects this week

The White Sox have a number of highly-rated prospects performing well in the minors and some of them will be on the move within the system in a matter of days.

General manager Rick Hahn talked to reporters ahead of Monday night's White Sox game in Cleveland, a 6-2 loss, and gave the news. Well, sort of.

He didn't include names, but he did say that "there will be many" promotions after the minor league all-star games for Double-A and both Single-A teams take place on Tuesday.

Hahn added that Chris Getz, the White Sox player development director, will address the media before the White Sox host Oakland on Thursday about the moves.

If the all-star games are a reason to wait, it's safe to think some of the players involved will be playing in those games. So who could be on the move?

Double-A Birmingham has six all-stars: Eloy Jimenez, Zack Collins, Seby Zavala, Danny Mendick, Dane Dunning and Ian Hamilton. Jimenez is the name everyone wants to see on the move. He has torched the Southern League since getting off to a late start to the season due to injury. Hahn was asked about Jimenez, but didn't tip his hand as to whether he would be one of the promotions.

Dunning has been good in Double-A (2.78 ERA, 65 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings), but was already promoted this season so he may not be on the move again.

Single-A Winston-Salem has five all-stars: Dylan Cease, Luis Alexander Basabe, Joel Booker, Bernardo Flores and Matt Foster. Cease, 22, could be due for a promotion with a 2.89 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. There's also that outfield logjam the Dash, which won the first-half division title, have had all season.

Other than Basabe and Booker, Blake Rutherford and Alex Call are also noteworthy prospects being forced to split time in the Dash's outfield. If Jimenez is moving up to Triple-A, one or two names from this group could be on the move to take his spot in Birmingham.

This would especially make sense if highly-touted outfield prospect Luis Robert, who was supposed to be in Single-A Kannapolis for a short period before joining the Dash, is ready to move up as planned. Robert is hitting .289/.360/.400 in 13 games with the Intimidators.

Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis were all off Monday. The various all-star games will take place Tuesday and the three teams will be off again Wednesday. The promotions could be announced Thursday ahead of Getz's scheduled media availability.