ARLINGTON -- The addition of Francisco Liriano has produced a six-man White Sox rotation for the short term.
And that starting adjustment should especially benefit rookie Jose Quintana and first-year starter Chris Sale, whose innings totals are being watched in this dual contending/developmental season for the South Siders. Sale started Friday against the Rangers and earned the victory, but he also topped out at 92 mph velocity-wise.
Sale reiterated Sunday that he feels fine, aside from some arm fatigue as he quickly moves toward a new single-season innings high. With that fatigue in mind, Sale's start in Minnesota will be skipped Wednesday and it's not known exactly when the left-hander will return to the mound.
"Going through a little dead-arm period, I guess. Nothing terrible, nothing anyone else doesn't go through," said Sale, who has a 2.61 ERA in 124 innings. "We all feel this is something that's going to benefit us and benefit myself, a few extra days off so the next couple months we can make a push and get after it."
"I would say it's probably fatigue and being tired. There's no pain or anything in there," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Sale. "We'll see how that sits when we're in Minnesota and how he feels and how he does in between his starts. Nothing's changed as far as how we started to treat him and how we treat him now. We're just trying to take care of them."
A break was given to Sale from May 2-11, aside from one relief appearance, when it was thought elbow soreness would move the southpaw into the closer's role. Sale talked his way back into the rotation and then was off from July 4-14, aside from his All-Star appearance.
In taking this big-picture approach to the season, the White Sox hope to have a regular five-man rotation and have all their starters fresh for the September stretch drive.
"Extra time would benefit everybody. Not only Chris, but Quintana," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "When we talk about Chris, we've got to include Quintana and to a degree, you have to add in the relievers in their first full year. But we're talking about the starters, so it definitely helps Chris, Quintana, but it helps everyone. Once these [three August] off-days are done, we're going to be going."
"We're trying to be as strong as we can when getting into September," Ventura said. "That you're rolling with five guys and you're rolling with the five best guys."