CHICAGO -- The first little midseason break for Chris Sale wasn't planned and came about as a way to take some stress off his left arm.
This next break was planned around the All Star break all along, only Sale will actually be a participant in the All-Star Game itself -- likely getting an inning to himself. According to White Sox general manager Ken Williams, Sale's start on Tuesday night against the Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field will be his last until after the All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City.
"Well, whether I want to see him or not [in the All-Star Game], it's going to happen," Williams told reporters prior to Tuesday night's game against Texas. "Fortunately, we already built in ... a number of weeks or months back ... that we were going to give him a break at some point."
That point was determined to be the upcoming All-Star break. Sale missed a start in early May and worked an inning out of the bullpen amid speculation that he would go back to the closer's role that he held down last season.
Instead, he came back to the starting rotation and finished May strong. Williams said the plan for Sale in the season's first half was to have him pitch once a week to monitor his workload, with a planned break for the All-Star Game.
Now, he'll get about 12 days away from starting when he likely misses his next turn in the rotation -- which would happen on Sunday at home against Toronto.
"Now, going into the second half, we give him another break," Williams said. "All-Star Game or not, he was going to get it. So, All-Star Game or not, he was going to have to throw a side day right during the break. We get to do it in front of the entire baseball world. It happens to be an All-Star Game. Go do it. Go for it. You've earned it.
You deserve it."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Sale will not just be sitting around during his down time from the mound, so he's not too worried about his hard-throwing young starter getting rusty. He said circumstances will determine Sale's next start after the break.
"He can still throw, so it's not like he's going to take a full 12 days off and not do anything," Ventura said. "We're looking to do what's best for him and us. He's a big part of our rotation, so maybe we'll start back up [after the break] and maybe he won't throw the first game, but again, it's looking at him and how he's doing and where we're at ... who we're facing, things like that."