NEW YORK -- The White Sox have penciled in Chris Sale as their starting pitcher on Tuesday night against the Rangers and Sunday, July 8, against the Blue Jays to close out the first half of the season.
As far as the talented southpaw is concerned, those starts can be written in pen regardless of whether his name is called on Sunday as a first-time All-Star.
"I've got to pitch here before I pitch anywhere else, to be honest with you," Sale said. "I'd hate for them to have to rearrange things for that to happen.
"That would be very selfish to do. This is important to me. This is my team. This is our team. I have to do what's best for us, and if that means, if I even make it, not pitching in the All-Star Game, then so be it. It would be cool, but I know we've got more important things going on."
Sale will be working on five days' rest when he takes the mound on Tuesday, and moving him to Wednesday could give Sale a 12-day break in between first-half and second-half starts, depending on when he pitched after the break. But the White Sox want to win as many games as possible, and having Sale and his 2.27 ERA on the mound as often as possible gives them a great chance.
Although he got an extra day this week when his bullpen session was moved to Saturday, Sale could still view the All-Star Game as a side session and have a set pitch limit if he pitches on Sunday, then again in Kansas City, where the Midsummer Classic will be held. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement allows a starting pitcher who pitches on the final Sunday of the first half to petition to appear in the All-Star Game with a fixed pitch count, whereas he previously couldn't pitch if he started that Sunday.
This decision is up to the White Sox, according to Sale. But the club knows how important the appearance would be to the 23-year-old.
"From where he started out in Spring Training and going through it, it's a big deal," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "It's important and it's fun, too, for him to actually make the All-Star team and play in it. We'll kind of weigh how he's feeling and how it's going for him."
"If they'd rather me have a rest, then I'd take the rest," Sale said. "This is what is important to me and something I want to do for the whole season. Like I said, it'd be nice if I do get selected. If I do have the opportunity to pitch, that'd be awesome. But I don't want to deviate from what we have got going on here."