CHICAGO -- Chris Sale takes the mound Saturday afternoon against the Royals with an extra day of rest, built in through Thursday's off-day.
But according to White Sox manager Robin Ventura, the team's final off-day on Sept. 17 looks to be the only other slightly extended down time for the first-year starter, who is sitting at a single-season career-high 163 innings pitched.
"Probably an extra day more than anything. A day or two, not skipping two starts or anything like that," said Ventura when asked about rest for Sale. "I don't know if it's a chunk of time. It might be one, if it comes up. We're beyond that point of giving guys chunks of time."
Sale went from May 1-12 without making a start, pitching just once out of the bullpen during a time when it looked as if he had been moved to closer to combat elbow soreness. Upon returning to the rotation, Sale went from July 3-15 while only pitching in his first All-Star Game and then received a third break after a July 27 start until an Aug. 6 home victory over the Royals.
If Sale stays on schedule, he will make home starts against the Royals (Sept. 8), Tigers (Sept. 13), Indians (Sept. 24) and Rays (Sept. 29) and a road start against the Royals (Sept. 19). That breakdown figures to work in the White Sox favor, as Sale holds an 8-2 record with a 1.74 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field, compared to a 7-4 mark with a 4.01 ERA on the road.
The high-inning mark for Sale prior to this season came in 2010, when he hurled a combined 136 1/3 innings.
Ventura has no intention of giving extended rest to rookie Jose Quintana, who has allowed 12 earned runs over his last five innings. The rookie's combined innings total of 163 2/3 between the White Sox and Double-A Birmingham has far surpassed his previous high of 102 from 2011.
Dylan Axelrod, Hector Santiago and Philip Humber all could be inserted for a start to give either of these young pitchers a break. But much like Sale, Ventura believes Quintana looks fine and will stay on turn to face Detroit next week.
"It's just more locating," said Ventura of Quintana's struggles. "Pitchers go through things all the time. It's just unfortunate it happened right then.
"He still has everything. He has the movement. He has the velocity and all that stuff, and strength. But he just needs to locate."