Chris Sale says he’s definitely ready
BY daryl van schouwen For Sun-Times Media May 19, 2014 10:30PM
SOX AT ROYALS
The facts: 7:10 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Andre Rienzo (3-0, 4.20 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (2-2, 2.34).
Updated: June 23, 2014 2:48PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After Chris Sale throws a sideline session Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium, the White Sox are expected to determine when their prized left-hander makes his next start. For Sale, who hasn’t pitched in more than a month, sooner is better than later.
“I’m definitely ready,’’ Sale said Monday. “It’s no fun watching games, especially watching other people fill in for you and not being able to pull your own weight.’’
It’s not out of the question that Sale takes the ball against the New York Yankees this weekend at U.S. Cellular Field. Sale, who threw 68 pitches in a dominant four-inning rehab outing Friday for Class AAA Charlotte, said his elbow felt good after he played catch Monday and that nothing hurts where it shouldn’t.
“Nothing in my elbow,’’ he said.
The only soreness is the normal aftereffects in his lat and shoulder from the rehab start, his first since April 17 against the Boston Red Sox. Sale went on the DL a few days later with a flexor muscle strain, saying he expected to miss no more than two starts.
Thirty-two days after April 17, Sale said he’s ‘‘ready to go and just waiting for the next word.’’ He’d welcome a start against the Yankees (it’s Chris Sale bobblehead day Saturday, by the way), but it’s “not my call,’’ he said.
“I’m not quite sure where we’re going with it, what the deal is,’’ Sale said. “I’m feeling good, I feel strong, I feel back to normal, so whatever they got for me, I’m game for.’’
Manager Robin Ventura said the primary concern is Sale’s arm, but the other soreness “goes with it. You don’t want him to have anything that sets him back with being off-balance and trying to do too much from one part of the body to the next.
“[On Tuesday], we’ll have him out in the bullpen and see how he throws and from there make a determination of what’s next. But the good news is he’s feeling good and he continues to progress.’’
Sale said he felt great during his rehab start against Durham, in which he struck out 11 in four innings. The layoff was almost more than he could take.
“I signed up to pitch every fifth day, and I haven’t pitched in 35 days, it feels like,’’ he said. “So that stinks. There’s nothing fun about that. But at the same time, I know it’s better to hold off a little longer than rush it back and possibly something even worse happens.’’
NOTES: With Jose Abreu on the disabled list, Robin Ventura used Alexei Ramirez (.320, 28 RBI going in) in the No. 3 spot in his lineup against Kansas City Royals lefty Jason Vargas.
“He fits the best for us the way he has been swinging,’’ Ventura said.
◆ Andre Rienzo will try to solidify his spot in the rotation when makes his sixth start Tuesday. When he was called up after Felipe Paulino went on the disabled list April 19, Rienzo said he was told he might only be with the Sox for four days.
“Every day for me is a dream, so I live the dream every day,’’ Rienzo said.