Left-hander Chris Sale’s move from the starting rotation to the bullpen may only be temporary, he and pitching coach Don Cooper said Tuesday.
Sale, who was named the White Sox’ closer Friday because he had been experiencing discomfort in his left elbow — raising concerns about the rigors of starting on his arm — still wants badly to start.
And he might get another shot this season, even though manager Robin Ventura had said his move to the bullpen would be for the rest of the season.
“Never say never,’’ Cooper told the Sun-Times when asked if Sale’s move to the pen is permanent this season. “For this moment, right now, he’s in the bullpen.’’ …
… Sale said his arm feels great and that the subject of starting again is on the burner.
“No, absolutely not,’’ Sale said when asked if he had ruled out starting this season. “Starting is something I hope I can get back into. We’ve been kind of talking back and forth. There’s a possibility of it. Not ruling it out is the best way to say it.’’
It was thought that Cooper and former manager Ozzie Guillen were against making Sale a starter when plans for this season were discussed last year. Cooper said that wasn’t true in his case.
“No, no, I was never adamantly against it,’’ Cooper said. “All I knew is we had one of the best lefty relievers right there. And like I said from the beginning, as an organization, we decided to do this undertaking. And I was all in. I was looking forward to getting him over the hump and making him a starter, and we were proceeding accordingly. I want what my guys want. He wants to start. I want him to start.’’
As of now, Sale is being “held back,’’ Cooper said. “We’re going to continue to watch it. Who knows what we may do? Right now, we just kind of backed off him a little bit. In effect, we’ve missed a start. He’s feeling great right now.’’ …
… Cooper dismissed the notion that Sale’s mechanics aren’t suited for the rigors of starting.
“No, no, no, there were no concerns about that,’’ Cooper said.
“If you don’t have a good delivery, you can’t throw strikes. And Chris Sale is a strike-throwing machine. He has a good delivery.’’ …
So, the situation is the opposite of this: