Updated: April 22, 2014 12:23AM
DETROIT —Any time Chris Sale spends extended time in the trainer’s room, the White Sox hold their collective breath. The news they got Monday night wasn’t good, but it could have been worse.
The Sox, who had said before the game that he would miss his next start, decided to place Sale on the 15-day disabled list with a flexor mass muscle in his left arm after Sale underwent an MRI during Monday’s 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
The MRI showed that the ligament is “excellent,” Hahn said.
“We figured we are much better off having him miss a start here in Detroit and the next one in Tampa Bay and then re-evalute.”
Hahn said he was fairly confident Sale wouldn’t be out for more than the 15 days. The issue is similar to the one that bumped him out of the rotation in May 2012.
Sale had already left Comerica Park by the end of the game and was not expected to be available until Tuesday.
After throwing a career-high 127 pitches in his last start Thursday, Sale skipped his normal side session between starts but has played catch and done some work in the weight room. He missed a start last May because of a mild case of tendinitis in his left posterior shoulder, and in May of 2012 he was unexpectedly moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen after he experienced soreness and tightness in his left elbow. He returned to the rotation eight days later.
Hahn defended manager Robin Ventura’s and pitching coach Don Cooper allowing Sale to throw a career-high 127 pitches in his fourth start of the season against Boston Thursday.
“First I’m not smart enough to know if that was the cause of it,’’ Hahn said. “Second, there was no indication before that start or during that start that he was in the least bit of jeopardy of doing any damage to himself. In fact, as you can tell by this decision today we’re going to do everything in our power to protect him for the long term. This is about getting in front of any issues and make sure he’s in the best position to stay healthy for an extended career.’’
Sale (3-0, 2.30 ERA) earned a no-decision after pushing hard against the Boston Red Sox and Jon Lester at U.S. cellular Field on Thursday. He gave up one hit, a home run to Xander Bogaerts in the sixth inning, and finished with 10 strikeouts and three walks. The Sox bullpen had been depleted the night before, so there was some level of necessity for him to pitch deep into the game.
“Oh yeah, you’re totally aware [of the high pitch count],’’ Ventura said. “He said he just felt fine but he’s just sore, so, you just deal with it.’’
Lefty Charlie Leesman is being called up to start Tuesday’s game in Detroit, and Andre Rienzo will start Wednesday.