Sale in line to pitch tiebreaker or playoff opener

Sale in line to pitch tiebreaker or playoff opener

CHICAGO -- When the White Sox rearranged their starting rotation to give extra rest to Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy, moving him from Wednesday to Thursday, staff ace Chris Sale's spot was not changed.

Sale originally was set to start Sunday, when he would have had five days between starts after throwing 118 pitches in Monday's no-decision. But after the White Sox dropped Tuesday afternoon's contest to the Indians, Sale was moved back to his regular day on Saturday. That move also aligned Sale to start a potential Game 163 tiebreaker at Comerica Park on Thursday or Game 1 of the American League Division Series if the White Sox win the AL Central.

What will not be happening is Sale coming back on three days' rest to pitch in the regular-season finale Wednesday in Cleveland, even if the season is on the line.

"Game 3 against Cleveland?" said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper of Sale. "No, he won't come back early."

The White Sox have carefully watched Sale all season in his first year as a starter. While they won't push him on short rest at 188 2/3 innings, the club isn't worried about keeping him in regular rotation after Sale's extended seven-inning workload Monday.

"Listen, worry is not the right word," Cooper said. "It's always concern, but we are where we are. He's held up nicely.

"I do think most pitchers and most players in the American League are a bit worn after 154 games. That's just the way it is. Every club deals with that."

Cooper wouldn't commit to a Sunday starter in the regular-season home finale against the Rays, with Quintana and Francisco Liriano both looming as possibilities. He also indicated that another starter could be needed on Tuesday, meaning Peavy might be held back until Wednesday.

Cleveland has a 16-35 record against left-handed starters, so Hector Santiago could get another start at Progressive Field. Peavy didn't ask for the extra day, but understood the southpaw matchup against the Indians and is ready for the Rays.

"Any time you get an extra day, you feel a little more recovered," Peavy said. "You do more stuff in the training room and make your body feel better than it did in the four days, but it still not a problem pitching on four days by any means.

"They just made a decision and just let me know. That's how I found out about it. There was no dialogue. I do understand it, the thought process behind it, because of the numbers."