Sale preps as starter despite likely bullpen role

Sale preps as starter despite likely bullpen role

CHICAGO -- The reason Chris Sale prepared himself as a starter this offseason was not necessarily because he is expected to be inserted into the 2011 starting rotation. General manager Ken Williams simply didn't want Sale to break from the usual routine he employed over the past few years at this formative stage of his career.

"If you now try to have him do something he's not used to doing, you might not get the guy you just saw the last half of the season," Williams said. "I think it's important for him to always prepare -- for all guys, not just him -- as they always have to get the most out of him.

"As we are currently set up, it's my feeling he ultimately will be in the bullpen. We won't have that need, at least no longer than 30 days, if we have it at all. But to have him prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches because that's what guys tend to do, I don't think it's wise."

Williams also doesn't believe Sale would be hampered by moving back and forth between starter and reliever in the same season.

"When you can do it, you can do it," Williams said. "He's shown he can do it. Leave him alone."